K blows top
It is fair to say that this was the most unique road trip across America ever undertaken. In 1959 Nikita Khrushchev and his entourage spent 15 days in the USA visiting Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa. Along the way he met politicians, capitalists, movie stars and a few ordinary people at whistle stops on the train journey between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Khrushchev’s political agenda was to force the hand of the USA on disarmament (on his terms) and to get it to accept the USSR as an equal partner on the world stage. Khrushchev had every faith that the USSR would soon surpass the USA as an economic and political power, thus demonstrating the superiority of the Communist system, and he used every opportunity to present his case to American leaders and the American people.
After the horrors of the first half of 20th century in Russia which included the First World War, the 1917 revolution, the subsequent invasion and Civil War, the genocidal horrors of forced collectivisation and famine, and the all consuming disaster of the Great Patriotic War against the Nazis which left 14% of the pre War Soviet population dead, along with the ongoing Stalinist tyranny, the years of comparative peace and development after Stalin’s death in 1953 were a welcome relief for the Soviet people. Continue reading