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
  • Copyright: 2006
  • Dimensions: 6.125 x 9.25
  • Page Count: 896 pages
  • Illustrations: 44 b&w illustrations/
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-02861-3
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-05859-7
  • Co-publisher: Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute, Brown University

2006 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“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 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

Volume 3: Statesman, 1953–1964
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