In Defence of N Khrushchev, Author

By Galbraith, John Kenneth | New Statesman (1996), May 8, 2006 | Go to article overview

In Defence of N Khrushchev, Author


Galbraith, John Kenneth, New Statesman (1996)


About 15 years ago Roswell Garst, the great corn breeder, told me of a meeting that he had had with Nikita Khrushchev. Having saturated the US market with Pioneer Hybrid Corn, Garst had been looking for new customers and the Soviet Union had come into his thoughts. He had gone to Moscow, made a sales call on the Kremlin and left samples, but had not been successful. But then the Soviet embassy in Washington asked him urgently to come back. He went to see Khrushchev, whose interest in corn had deepened in the interval. For a long afternoon he questioned Garst about US methods of corn culture--techniques of hybridisation, land preparation, cultivation, fertilisation, harvesting, storage and more. The telephone did not ring; there were no interruptions; Garst began to wonder who was running the country. Finally, he begged to ask a question himself:

"I assume, Mr Chairman, that you have methods of getting information from the United States--that if we have some new atomic secret you get it in a couple of weeks." Khrushchev interrupted: "No! No, we insist! One week only!" "One week or two weeks, it doesn't matter," said Garst. "I still must ask why you question me about matters which are in our experiment station bulletins, which our extension services pound into the heads of our farmers, which are completely available and in Iowa hard to avoid?"

"It's the Russian character," Khrushchev replied. "When the aristocracy first learned that potatoes were the cheapest way of feeding the peasants the peasants wouldn't eat them. But whatever you say for our aristocrats, they knew their Russians. They put high fences around the potato patches, the peasants immediately started stealing the potatoes. In no time they developed a taste. You should have kept your corn a secret."

This story was on my mind when I read the Khrushchev memoirs. I imagined that they owed their interest to the murky process by which they were acquired rather than to any literary and narrative power. I was wrong. After reading the book and a fair number of the reviews, I've concluded that he's had a bum rap from the critics.

There was first the question of authenticity--a greater question with English than American critics, quite a few of whom have attributed it to the CIA. The CIA can be excluded on simple grounds: no one with that kind of imagination could be had for government pay. It may be that the KGB, which also gets possible credit, has less competition and can hire this kind of talent, but even those who think it responsible agree it must have worked closely with original Khrushchev material.

The critics also complain that there isn't much that is new, but this is also true of the memoirs of Eisenhower and Macmillan, and unlike these worthy books the Khrushchev production is full of fascinating stories. Unlike most other writers of memoirs he has readers other than himself in mind, which is not a bad thing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In Defence of N Khrushchev, Author
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.