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Documentary film of Khrushev's 1959 visit to U.S.


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Remarkable British Film of Khrushchev's 1959 visit to the U.S. complete with some of  K's remembrances from his memoirs. Is this what happens when countries become isolated and don't talk to each other?
 
New York City and Washington D.C., solemn event, icy reception, like a funeral. Khrushchev waving at people who aren't waving back. LBJ tells Ike to take Khrushchev to church. At a Washington press conference he's immediately asked about the purges of Stalin.
 
Then to California-Closed car with, no A/C in Sept in L.A.! -Nikita in Hollywood, Unusual cultural exchanges. (Why isn't he more like us?) Frank, Liz, Marilyn and meeting with Can Can dancer Shirley Mac Laine.  Hostile L.A. Mayor Poulson, at dinner, trying to out flank local favorite, Nixon on the right. Nikita don't take no guff and strikes back. Oppressive chaperone H.C. Lodge won't let him go to Disneyland. Still he starts getting some  applause. I'm not sure with Hollywood if he couldn't have said the most frightening things and still gotten a polite applause, or there were some who actually thought that was a shoddy way to treat your guest, but after that, things started to turn. Train  ride through Central California up to S.F., Nikita greets the people, and an excited reception in S.F.
An attempted Middle Americanization of Khrushchev with 1000's of people on a farm  in Iowa and back to Camp David with Ike.
 
Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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Kirk,

     This is a fascinating documentary.  For some reason, while watching it, I kept thinking about Khrushchev's role in the critical WWII Battle of Stalingrad, and about the abrupt, diametric shift in American mass media representations of the Soviet Union after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945.   Stalingrad was the most gargantuan battle in world history, and was the turning point in WWII-- the battle that, ultimately, broke Hitler's war machine.   After Stalingrad, the course of WWII was all downhill for Hitler-- a 1,000 mile roll back of the Wehrmacht from the Volga to Berlin.

    By the time of Khrushchev's 1959 visit, American society had been saturated in M$M Red Scare propaganda, HUAC hearings, and black-listings for almost 15 years.  Little wonder that Khrushchev-- a hero of the Great Patriotic War that destroyed the Nazi Wehrmacht-- was offended by the openly hostile reception he received in a nation that had been a major ally and beneficiary of the Soviet Union in WWII.   For this, we can all thank the Dulles brothers, Wall Street, the CIA, and the post-WWII military-industrial complex.

    As I understand it now, JFK understood Russia's sacrifices in the defeat of Naziism, and was trying to de-escalate the Cold War when he was murdered by men who played major roles in starting it, escalating it, and perpetuating it.   Watching Khrushchev in these American film clips, it seems fairly clear that he was, essentially, trying to prevent the Cold War from going thermonuclear.

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I agree on all points,William. I think K. was hoping it would be a good will tour to the American people, but was assailed, and wasn't about to back down, and in the end he prevailed when he finally rebelled about how choreographed and controlled  his tour turned out to be.

IMO, It has all the makings of a great story. Fear of foreigners, the demagoguery of those who would choose to mold or limit public perception, and particularly at the Hollywood dinner, differences in perception of class status, and yet beyond any ideology, the ultimate power of the "human touch" that K. ended up having.

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1 hour ago, Kirk Gallaway said:

I agree on all points,William. I think K. was hoping it would be a good will tour to the American people, but was assailed, and wasn't about to back down, and in the end he prevailed when he finally rebelled about how choreographed and controlled  his tour turned out to be.

IMO, It has all the makings of a great story. Fear of foreigners, the demagoguery of those who would choose to mold or limit public perception, and particularly at the Hollywood dinner, differences in perception of class status, and yet beyond any ideology, the ultimate power of the "human touch" that K. ended up having.

I wonder if Nixon had a hand in the dirty tricks played on Khrushchev in L.A.

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This is an excellent documentary.  I'd read before Khrushev had visited the US but had no idea of the story of it.  Thanks for the background too W.

Regarding Nixon, he'd been playing the Red card for years and he was from Southern California.  Might the veep have put a bug in the mayor's ear?

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