LitBirthdays September 2, 2014

2014 National Book Festival Report

The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey Into the Gulag of the Russian Mind

by Nina Khrushcheva

20140901-163350.jpg Nina Khrushcheva spoke at the National Book Festival in Washington DC on Saturday, August 30, 2014. Listen to her speech at the links below.
Complete (36 minutes)
Part 1 – Introduction (8 minutes)
Part 2 – About Leonid Khrushchev (5 minutes)
Part 3 – About Liuba, Leonid’s wife, and women under Communism (13 minutes)
Part 4 – The Russian Mindset
(11 minutes)

From the description of this book: “What inspired the author to finally document the Khrushchev family’s past was a persistent accusation in Russian media that twenty-five-year-old Leonid–a fighter pilot during World War II–did not die in battle in 1943 as was once presumed, but instead was executed by Stalin for his alleged desertion and service to the Nazis. So what happened to that lost Khrushchev? Khrushcheva also addresses the legacy of her great grandfather, Nikita Khrushchev, whose leadership from 1953 to 1964 has much bearing on Russian politics today.”

From reader reviews:
“Today Khrushchev’s legacy is in demise, and our family story is not just the one of struggling with and surviving Stalinism; it is also a tale of enduring the most surprising consequence of de-Stalinization– the return of the Stalin (and state) worship. Khrushcheva’s general argument is that Russia has reverted to a form of Stalinism under Vladimir Putin. It looks at a particular Russian frame of mind, which she calls the “Gulag syndrome.” Her political analysis becomes only more relevant through the prism of her Kremlin’s family story, that is the book is a brilliant example of how to find deeper meaning in individual life.”

“It was interesting for me to see him in a broader context – as a father and grandfather for example. A great refresher on Soviet history and its demise. I had not realized the extent to which Khrushchev and his reforms paved the way to Gorbachev and perestroika.”

“Nina Khrushcheva’s book like nothing else explains Vladimir Putin’s behavior in Ukraine. It is fascinating that the story was written long before, but does show that the author knows her stuff. A chapter where Khrushcheva talks about Nikita Khrushchev’s relations with Ukraine gives various clues as to where the Kremlin stands now.”


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