The Man and His Era

William Taubman (Author, Amherst College)


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

The definitive biography of the mercurial Soviet leader who succeeded and denounced Stalin. Nikita Khrushchev was one of the most complex and important political figures of the twentieth century. Ruler of the Soviet Union during the first decade after Stalin's death, Khrushchev left a contradictory stamp on his country and on the world. His life and career mirror the Soviet experience: revolution, civil war, famine, collectivization, industrialization, terror, world war, cold war, Stalinism, post-Stalinism. Complicit in terrible Stalinist crimes, Khrushchev nevertheless retained his humanity: his daring attempt to reform communism prepared the ground for its eventual collapse; and his awkward efforts to ease the cold war triggered its most dangerous crises.

This is the first comprehensive biography of Khrushchev and the first of any Soviet leader to reflect the full range of sources that have become available since the USSR collapsed. Combining a page-turning historical narrative with penetrating political and psychological analysis, this book brims with the life and excitement of a man whose story personified his era.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2004
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32484-6
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 896 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverKhrushchev: The Man and His Era



Endorsements & Reviews

“Thanks to Taubman, one of the most important figures of the 20th century finally has the biography he deserves.” — Strobe Talbott, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Masterful and should salute its author for a wonderful achievement.” — Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post

“A portrait unlikely to be surpassed any time soon in either richness or complexity....shines with mastery and authority.” — Leon Aron, New York Times Book Review

“The book is a gift, as fascinating as it is important.” — Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

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