K Blows Top: A Cold War Comic Interlude, Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist (Paperback)
A Cold War Comic Interlude, Starring Nikita Khrushchev, America's Most Unlikely Tourist
PublicAffairs, 9781586488468, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 6, 2010
July 2009 Indie Next List
— Pete Mulvihill, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA
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Khrushchev’s 1959 trip across America was one of the strangest exercises in international diplomacy ever conducted. 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.
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 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.