De-Stalinization Under Nikita Khrushchev: An Era of Thaw, Not Just a Policy of Reform, 1953-1964
Mitchell, Elizabeth K.
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The author traces how individual Russian leaders shaped communism in Russia and how Joseph Stalin allowed communism to evolve into something enforceable only through oppression. With Stalin's death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev knew how problematic the totalitarian system would be without the dictator at its center. He tried to make Soviet communism endure by removing some Stalinist elements but not others. Scholars point to the fall of both Khrushchev and the Soviet Union as proof that de-Stalinization did not adequately address the structural issues of Soviet communism. Conservatives in the Soviet government ousted Krushchev in 1964 because they interpreted his reforms as too liberal and too close to capitalism.