K Blows Top

K Blows Top

A Cold War Comic Interlude Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist

Book - 2009
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Khrushchev's 1959 trip across America was one of the strangest exercises in international diplomacy ever conducted--"a surreal extravaganza," as historian John Lewis Gaddis called it. Khrushchev told jokes, threw tantrums, sparked a riot in a San Francisco supermarket, wowed the coeds in a home economics class in Iowa, and ogled Shirley MacLaine as she filmed a dance scene in Can-Can. He befriended and offended a cast of characters including Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe.

Published for the fiftieth anniversary of the trip, K Blows Top is a work of history that reads like a Vonnegut novel. This cantankerous communist's road trip took place against the backdrop of the fifties in capitalist America, with the shadow of the hydrogen bomb hanging over his visit like the Sword of Damocles. As Khrushchev kept reminding people, he was a hot-tempered man who possessed the power to incinerate America.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781586484972
Branch Call Number: ANF 947.085209 CAR
Characteristics: xiv, 327 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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horton30
Jan 18, 2015

Highly entertaining. Gives the reader a very personal view of Khrushchev - much different than the one-dimensional view generally promulgated then and since. How can leaders (and others) visiting each other's countries be a bad thing?!

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