This episode takes us behind the Iron Curtain, as we explore the life and times of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, the mercurial figure who was once Josef Stalin’s “court jester”. After Stalin’s death, Khrushchev longed to restore the USSR to the “shining heights of communism”.
He dreamed of a more peaceful, tolerant and prosperous state. But as Khrushchev navigated national and global events, he was often his own worst enemy: he was clever and compassionate, but also rash, egocentric and impulsive. Later in his life, he was also haunted by his own participation in Stalin’s purges of the 1930s.
We’re joined by special guest Professor William Taubman, an academic at Amherst College and a Pulitzer prize-winning Soviet historian, who wrote Nikita Khrushchev’s biography: Khrushchev- the Man and His Era.