Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nikita Khrushchev

[Politicians] are the same all over.  They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.

From a speech he delivered in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on this date in 1963.  Nikita Khrushchev succeeded Joseph Stalin as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1953, and became the Soviet Premier in 1958.  He was ousted from power in 1964 and spent the rest of life essentially as a nonperson.  Khrushchev died of a heart attack in 1971, at age 77.

Khrushchev was the face of the enemy when I was a child -- the symbol of our fear of nuclear war -- but it was hard to take him seriously.  He wouldn't have been out of place as a "Three Stooges" cast member.

Fidel Castro with Khrushchev

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