Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Volume 1: Commissar, 1918–1945

May 5, 2019 - Comment

Nikita Khrushchev’s proclamation from the floor of the United Nations that “we will bury you” is one of the most chilling and memorable moments in the history of the Cold War, but from the Cuban Missile Crisis to his criticism of the Soviet ruling structure late in his career the motivation for Khrushchev’s actions wasn’t

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Nikita Khrushchev’s proclamation from the floor of the United Nations that “we will bury you” is one of the most chilling and memorable moments in the history of the Cold War, but from the Cuban Missile Crisis to his criticism of the Soviet ruling structure late in his career the motivation for Khrushchev’s actions wasn’t always clear. Many Americans regarded him as a monster, while in the USSR he was viewed at various times as either hero or traitor. But what was he really like, and what did he really think? Readers of Khrushchev’s memoirs will now be able to answer these questions for themselves (and will discover that what Khrushchev really said at the UN was “we will bury colonialism”).

This is the first volume of three in the only complete and fully reliable version of the memoirs available in English. In this volume, Khrushchev recounts how he became politically active as a young worker in Ukraine, how he climbed the ladder of power under Stalin to occupy leading positions in Ukraine and then Moscow, and how as a military commissar he experienced the war against the Nazi invaders. He vividly portrays life in Stalin’s inner circle and among the generals who commanded the Soviet armies.

Khrushchev’s sincere reflections upon his own thoughts and feelings add to the value of this unique personal and historical document. Included among the Appendixes is Sergei Khrushchev’s account of how the memoirs were created and smuggled abroad during his father’s retirement.

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