|The plane Khrushchev flew to come to America in 1959 apparently exists at a museum in Russia. That would constitute another bucket list entry.|
|My idea of a good time involves swapping cards like this across a table with a friend on a weekend afternoon.|
"Cold War Roadshow" interviews some historians who make very good points about how Khrushchev may have unwittingly brought about the end of the Cold War. First, by denouncing Stalin in 1956 he precipitated a significant decline in the ideology on which the Soviet Union was founded. That decline couldn't be reversed. Second, interactions with common American people (the leaders he met often angered him) during that road trip might have disinclined him from ultimately giving the order that would push us into war. He met too many Americans to not understand our common humanity. Those sentiments, the one historian argued, tempered Khrushchev during the turbulent misunderstandings that began with the shooting down of the U-2 up through the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It might be helpful for us to consider the role of stumblers like Khrushchev though it seems more simple to look at the sure hands who are more often given credit. Ronald Reagan was the smooth communicator. Mikhail Gorbachev was the precise engineer. These two are most often given the credit for ending the Cold War. I appreciate American Experience's interpretation that its end wasn't quite so intentional or sure-handed.