Khrushchev : The Man And His Era, Hardback Book

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`Taubman delivers a political and biographical tour de force, something approaching a definitive work' Simon Sebag-Montefiore, The Financial Times `Outstanding, superbly gripping and surely definitive' Daily Telegraph 'Taubman has produced an utterly convincing picture of the contradictory Khrushchev, from his peasant origins and meteoric rise, through purges, politburo plotting, brave de-Stalinisation and the erratic, blustering, bull-in-a-china-shop style that eventually alienated his colleagues and took the world to the brink of Armageddon over Cuba' SUNDAY TIMES `Unlikely to be surpassed any time soon either in richness or complexity . . . [A] monumental biography' New York Times William Taubman's brilliant biography of one of the key figures of the Soviet Union is a study in contrasts -- how the boy from a peasant background rose to the heights of power; how a single-minded, ambitious political player survived twenty years under Stalin; how he opened up to the West after Stalin's death and yet brought the world close to oblivion in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What emerges is a fascinating picture of a man constantly torn between benevolence and malevolence -- a man who made himself cultured and yet who could never really escape his image as a bullying country bumpkin (most famously demonstrated by his interruption of Macmillan's speech to the UN in 1960 by banging his shoe on the table -- the urbane Macmillan responded, 'Mr President, perhaps we could have a translation, I could not quite follow').

William Taubman has previously edited collections of Nikita Khrushchev's speeches and reminiscences and is completely immersed in this subject -- his biography is likely to remain the standard work for years to come.

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