The death of Stalin in 1953 ended an extended era of capricious despotism, and three years later, Khruschev clawed his way to supreme power and remained head of state for seven years. In domestic affairs it was a period marked by impressive progress and tolerable living standards. In this period, Russia also achieved nuclear power and, in launching Sputnik in 1957, demonstrated to the world that it had virtually closed the gap in the arms race with the United States. In foreign policy, apart from an ever-widening rift between the Soviets and Red China, Khruschev followed a policy of "competitive coexistence." In 1963 he was suddenly overthrown, ostensibly to end "the cult of personality."
1 U-Matic copy [In Sachar Personal Papers, Box 28]
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