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Hilldale Lecture in the Social Studies

"Nikita Khrushchev: The Man and His Era"

Thursday, September 6, 2007; 4:00 - 5:15 PM
Room 325 Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street
Sponsored by the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)

A reception and book signing will immediately follow the talk just outside Room 325.
Copies of Professor Taubman’s book, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era,
will be available for sale courtesy of the University Book Store.

William Taubman
Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science, Amherst College

Remembered by many as the Soviet leader who brandished his shoe at the United Nations, Khrushchev was in fact one of the most complex, colorful and important political figures of the 20th century. Although complicit in Stalinist crimes, he attempted to de-Stalinize the USSR. His daring attempt to reform communism prepared the way for its eventual collapse. His awkward efforts to ease the cold war triggered its most dangerous crises in Berlin and Cuba. Professor Taubman, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Khrushchev, will analyze the Soviet leader's personality, and show how it helps to explain his role in unmasking Stalin, and in sparking the Berlin and Cuban crises.

William Taubman

William Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, is the author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, published in March 2003. Khrushchev was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for biography. It also received the 2004 National Book Critics Award for biography, the Wayne S. Vucinich Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and the Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Policy. Taubman is also the author of The View from Lenin Hills: Soviet Youth in Ferment (1967), Governing Soviet Cities (1973), and Stalin's American Policy (1982); co-author (with his wife, Jane Taubman, Amherst Russian professor) of Moscow Spring (1989); editor-translator of Khrushchev on Khrushchev by Sergei N. Khrushchev (1990); and co-editor of Nikita Khrushchev (2000). In addition to scholarly articles and reviews, he has written op-ed pieces and book reviews for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Constitution, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. He has appeared on "The Today Show," "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report," C-Span's "Booknotes" and "Washington Journal," and NPR's "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition," and "Fresh Air." He is currently at work on a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev.

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