NOTES ON A DICTATOR

Posted in Quick Hits on June 29th, 2017 by Ed

In 1961, Esquire asked Saul Bellow to comment on Nikita Khrushchev's antics during his second visit to the United States. The Russian's first trip in 1959 was a source of merriment for everyone involved, a two-week carnival with Nikita K as its grinning, mugging star. His second visit was limited to New York City and was spent mostly in the headquarters of the UN, highlighted by K's infamous shoe-banging incident. Bellow wrote of the chaotic man in control of a massive nuclear arsenal with global reach (original article behind paywall):

Masked in smiles and peasant charm, or exploding in anger, the Russian premier releases his inner feelings and if we are not shaken by them it is because we are not in close touch with reality.

That seems relevant today for some reason.