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Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Commissar (1918-1945) Hardcover – January 30, 2005


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Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Commissar (1918-1945) + Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Volume 2: Reformer, 1945-1964 + Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Volume 3: Statesman, 1953-1964
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 935 pages
  • Publisher: Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (January 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0271023325
  • ISBN-13: 978-0271023328
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most important political leaders of the twentieth century. Without his memoirs, neither the rise and fall of the Soviet Union nor the history of the Cold War can be fully understood. By dictating his memoirs and publishing them in the West, Khrushchev transformed himself from the USSR's leader to one of its first dissidents. His remarkably candid recollections were a harbinger of glasnost to come. Like virtually all memoirs, his have a personal and political agenda, but even what might be called Khrushchev's 'myth of himself' is vital for understanding how this colorful figure could place his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. The fact that the full text of Khrushchev's memoirs will now be available in English is cause for rejoicing. --William Taubman, Amherst College, author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

One of the most extraordinary archives of the twentieth century. --Strobe Talbott, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

Khrushchev had a remarkable memory, and although the style and broad outline of what he has to say will be familiar to those who read the original two-volume English version issued in the early 1970s, the detail he provides here, particularly on the war, adds a great deal. --Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

One of the most extraordinary archives of the twentieth century. --Strobe Talbott, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

Khrushchev had a remarkable memory, and although the style and broad outline of what he has to say will be familiar to those who read the original two-volume English version issued in the early 1970s, the detail he provides here, particularly on the war, adds a great deal. --Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

From the Publisher

"Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most important political leaders of the twentieth century. Without his memoirs, neither the rise and fall of the Soviet Union nor the history of the Cold War can be fully understood. By dictating his memoirs and publishing them in the West, Khrushchev transformed himself from the USSR’s leader to one of its first dissidents. His remarkably candid recollections were a harbinger of glasnost to come. Like virtually all memoirs, his have a personal and political agenda, but even what might be called Khrushchev’s "myth of himself" is vital for understanding how this colorful figure could place his contradictory stamp on his country and the world. The fact that the full text of Khrushchev’s memoirs will now be available in English is cause for rejoicing." --William Taubman

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self."

W.H. Auden's aphorism forms an appropriate framework for reviewing The Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Volume I. Although the Memoirs have more Don Quixote than Sancho Panza they are compelling, informative, and insightful.

Volume I consists of two sections: Khrushchev's Memoirs from the early days of the Russian Revolution through the end of the Second World War and Sergei Khrushchev's (Nikita's son) essay on the creation of the memoirs and the decades long struggle to see it published in the USSR.

Khrushchev's memoirs are fascinating for a number of reasons. As set out in Sergei's essay, these Memoirs were dictated and not written. As a result, the Memoirs have a very conversational tone whcih, for me, brought the Memoirs to life. Khrushchev had a prodigious memory and his Memoirs bear this out. Each chapter of Khrushchev's life is rich with the type of detail that one doesn't expect in a memoir written decades later. The bulk of Volume I is devoted to World War II. Khrushchev served as a member of the Military Council and as Commissar in the Ukraine (a political hierarchy that paralleled the military chain of command). Khrushchev played a critical role in the Ukraine during the war, lived and worked through the horrendous battle of Stalingrad, the enormous victory at Kursk, and the liberation of Kiev. Khrushchev is at his narrative best when describing these events. At the same time, Khrushchev does not shy away from discussing the chaos and confusion that reigned at the beginning of the war.
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By Dean Brunel on April 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A riviting personal account of the workings and failures of the Soviet Union under the direction of Joseph Stalin. Those who may revere the memory of Stalin will not like this book, but it helps explain the causes of the lack of preparedness of Russia for the Second World War and the folly placing one's faith in the ability of one man to rule a nation.
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9 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr Bassil A MARDELLI on September 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Last week we listened to the `messages' given in the UN by many heads of states.

Hugo Chavez president of Venezuela and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, in particular, have been quite interesting and extremely filled most of us with fun and enjoyment.

They have spoken with great presumptuousness.

Their intention has been to insult and accuse their opponent head of state - USA President Bush, and they did it in such a way that their words, taken literally, sounded innocent.

Those who are not familiar with the background and meaning of `being garrulous' will find nothing odd about their sentences, until they could get the hidden implications.

Perhaps we should `exhume' one simple example of what we are talking about.

During the Cuban missile crises in the early sixties of the twentieth century, Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, used to pound his desk at the UN General Assembly to interrupt British and American heads of states from giving their speeches. The frustrated NK even pulled off and waved his shoe and banged it on his desk in front of shocked and amused world delegates occupying the large UN hall.

Nevertheless, the annals of history has recorded that in 1964 Brezhenev ousted NK.

Twenty-seven years later the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics was dissolved after some seventy-five years, since the Russian Revolution in 1917, of acting as the second principal world super power.

You see, in the tug of will, the point is not in pronouncing words of strength, because at the end of the day what really counts is `Who' is able to bind the economic noose tighter until decided to pull the rope.

This memoirs is not a Mrs Love's poem that we are talking of.
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