The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev

Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev

Volume 2: Reformer, 1945–1964 Edited by Sergei Khrushchev
  • Publish Date: 9/1/2006
  • Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25
  • Page Count: 896 pages
  • Illustrations: 44 illustrations/2 maps
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-02861-3
  • Co-publisher: The Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Brown University

Hardcover Edition: $85.95Add to Cart

“The single most comprehensive, candid, and authoritative account of the inner workings of the Kremlin leadership. . . . One of the most extraordinary archives of the twentieth century.”
“This is the second of three huge volumes that present, for the first time in English, a complete version of the tape-recorded memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (SPSU) from September 1953 to October 1964. Pennsylvania State University Press deserves praise for taking on this enormous task, which was supported in part by grants from a number of individuals and private foundations. . . . The 3-volume set of Khrushchev’s memoirs is an indispensable resource for scholars interested in Soviet politics, Soviet foreign policy, and the Cold War. This second volume is especially useful in its discussion of political rivalries, the Machiavellian nature of Soviet politics, and the dilemmas of Soviet military policy in the nuclear age.”
“In spight of Khrushchev’s generally negative attitude toward Jews, the appearance of the second volume of his posthumous reminiscences, Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev will be of great interest to all Kremlin watchers.”
“Like the preceding volume, this work is a fine translation, easy to read, but fragmented. There are excellent notes following each chapter and photographs showing Krushchev up to his retirement. The index is excellent and a number of appendixes are included, some quite lengthy, which provide rare insights into Krushchev’s character. This volume would be another valuable addition for the Soviet specialist but military historians should wait for the final volume, which hopefully will go into more detail regarding the major Cold War events of Khrushchev’s tenure as General Secretary.”
The Memoirs of Nikita Krushchev remain a highly valuable source for historians of the Soviet Union, and should be of great interest to those interested in the history of the Cold War. Because they provide a unique insight into the mindset of the Soviet leadership, and because their contents can be enjoyed by those without too much background knowledge in Soviet history, they can also be fruitfully used by undergraduate as a primary source.”
“There is no better way to appreciate the historical and humanistic depths of this drama than by spending time with Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs.”

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 second volume of three in what will be the only complete and fully reliable version of the memoirs available in English. In the first volume, published in 2004, Khrushchev takes his story up to the close of World War II. In the first section of this second volume, he covers the period from 1945 to 1956, from the famine and devastation of the immediate aftermath of the war to Stalin’s death, the subsequent power struggle, and the Twentieth Party Congress. The remaining sections are devoted to Khrushchev’s recollections and thoughts about various domestic and international problems. In the second and third sections, he recalls the virgin lands and other agricultural campaigns and his dealings with nuclear scientists and weapons designers. He also considers other sectors of the economy, specifically construction and the provision of consumer goods, administrative reform, and questions of war, peace, and disarmament. In the last section, he discusses the relations between the party leadership and the intelligentsia.

Included among the Appendixes are the notebooks of Nina Petrovna Kukharchuk, Khrushchev’s wife.

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894–1971) was First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964.

Sergei Khrushchev is Senior Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower (Penn State, 2000). .


Abbreviations and Acronyms

The Memoirs

From Victory Day to the Twentieth Party Congress
The First Postwar Years
In Moscow Again
Some Comments on Certain Individuals
One of Stalin’s Shortcomings—Anti-Semitism
Beria and Others
Stalin’s Family, and His Daughter Svetlana
Stalin’s Last Years
The Korean War
Doctors’ Plot
The Nineteenth Party Congress
After the Nineteenth Party Congress
Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR
Stalin About Himself
The Death of Stalin
My Reflections on Stalin
Once Again on Beria
After Stalin’s Death
From the Nineteenth Party Congress to the Twentieth
After the Twentieth Party Congress
A Few Words About Government Power, Zhukov, and Others

How to Make Life Better
Build More—and with High Quality
My Work in Agriculture
The Virgin Lands
We Have Not Achieved the Abundance We Desire
Agriculture and Science
Academician Vilyams and His Grass-Field Crop-Rotation System
The Agricultural Field as a Chessboard
A Few Words About the Machine and Tractor Stations—and About Specialization
We Suffer from the Imperfection of Our Organizational System
Corn—A Crop I Gave Much Attention to
The Shelves in Our Stores Are Empty

The Postwar Defense of the USSR
1. Structuring the Soviet Armed Forces
Stalin’s Legacy
The Soviet Navy
Airplanes and Missiles
Antimissile Defenses
Tanks and Cannon
The Problem of Transport: Wheels or Tank Treads?
2. Scientists and Defense Technology
Andrei Sakharov and Nuclear Weapons
Cooperation on Outer Space
Kurchatov, Keldysh, Sakharov, Tupolev, Lavrentyev, Kapitsa, and Others
3. Issues of Peace and War
Reducing the Size of the Soviet Army
On Peace and War
Nuclear War and Conventional War
Arms Race or Peaceful Coexistence?
Government Spending

Relations with the Intelligentsia
I Am Not a Judge


The Last Romantic
Anatoly Strelyany
Memorandum of N. S. Khrushchev on Military Reform
Memorandum of KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov to the CPSU Central Committee: “On Limiting the Receipt of Foreign Correspondence by N. S. Khrushchev”
Announcement of the Death of N. S. Khrushchev
The Sendoff
Georgy Fyodorov
Sanitation Day (Notes of a Contemporary on the Funeral of N. S. Khrushchev)
Anatoly Zlobin
Mama’s Notebooks, 1971–1984
Nina Petrovna Khrushcheva


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Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev

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