Conquest on Krushchev's Not-So-Secret Speech


While Cathy Young charts the Stalin boom in the former Soviet Union and these United States, historian Robert Conquest muses on the 50th anniversary of Nikita Krushchev's "secret speech" denouncing Uncle Joe's reign of terror:

[Krushchev's] speech prompted the beginnings of a thaw, but one that did not last. And among a portion of the population there remained, and remains even now, a favorable attitude toward Stalin, which is sometimes seen as the result of centuries of submission to tyranny. For others, the "secret speech" massively undermined the Stalin regime.

But the machine he had built, or inherited from Lenin, survived for a third of a century. And, by an odd paradox, much of the parasitical apparat remains to this day, long after its ideological justifications have gone, like a cartoon character–Wile E. Coyote or Mr. Magoo–walking on after his plank has disappeared.

More here. Hat tip: Arts & Letters Daily.

Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin reviewed the stunning book In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage here (read all the way down for testy replies from historian Eric Foner and Dalton Trumbo's son Christopher).

Alan Charles Kors checked out the great anti-Soviet polemic The God That Failed on the tome's 50th anniversary and underscored "what even disillusioned Marxists missed" here.

Contributing Editor Charles Paul Freund commented on Martin Amis' chilling Koba the Dread: Laughter and the 20 Million and explained why the left wants to forget Stalin here.

Bonus Oscars link: Lloyd Billingsley asked why American filmmakers have largely ignored life under communism here.