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Week 12 Discussion Questions:  The rise of Khrushchev and the Khrushchev period.  



Chapter 17, From Autocracy to Oligarchy, pages 387-403.

In what sense did the Stalinist terror end after Stalin's death?

According to Suny, why was the fall of Beria so significant?  What changed?   What did not change?

In what ways did Khrushchev's path to power resemble Stalin's path to power? In what ways was it different?

What were the main points of Khrushchev's 1956 "Secret Speech" to the 20th party congress?  What was the reason for making this speech? 

Did  Khrushchev consider war against the capitalist countries inevitable?

Besides "de-Stalinization," what were Khrushchev's most important domestic policy initiatives in 1953-1958?

How had the realities of power changed in the USSR between 1953 and 1958?


Chapter 18, Khrushchev and the Politics of Reform, pages 404-420.

Why does Suny call Khrushchev "idealistic"?

What measures did Khrushchev take to improve agriculture, and to what extent did they succeed?  To what extent did they fail?  Explain.

Did the USSR's GNP continue to grow after 1958?  Explain.

Were there any significant proposals for the reform of domestic policy in the late 1950s?  What became of these proposals?

What were the main "flash points" of conflict in the Cold War in 1956-1962?

Why does Suny call the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 " Khrushchev's Gamble"?

Suny says that Khrushchev faced opposition from "conservative forces in the party leadership."  Explain what this means.  

What is Suny's final judgment of Khrushchev?

In your view, should Khrushchev be remembered as a failure or a success?   Explain.

What elements of the Stalinist system did Khrushchev try to change, and what elements did he leave in place?