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History and politics students alike will welcome this new Seminar Study which analyses the Khrushchev era -- a critical period of Soviet and world history. It was Khrushchev who, in 1957, finally filled the political vacuum left by the death of Stalin in 1953. He was an erratic, impulsive, inspirational and innovative leader who addressed the fundamental problems of the country - and yet he was, Martin McCauley argues, "a brilliant failure''. In this study the author explores all aspects of the Khrushchev era: including reforms in agriculture, economic policy, crises in Eastern Europe, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, de-Stalinisation and Khrushchev's attempts to reform the Communist Party.