Mao Zedong known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who became the founding father of the People's Republic of China, which he ruled as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. His theories, military strategies, political policies are collectively known as Maoism. Mao was the son of a wealthy farmer in Hunan, he had a Chinese nationalist and anti-imperialist outlook early in his life, was influenced by the events of the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and May Fourth Movement of 1919. He adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University, became a founding member of the Communist Party of China, leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and the CPC, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical land policies, became head of the CPC during the Long March. Although the CPC temporarily allied with the KMT under the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War, China's civil war resumed after Japan's surrender and in 1949 Mao's forces defeated the Nationalist government, which withdrew to Taiwan.
On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the People's Republic of China, a single-party state controlled by the CPC. In the following years he solidified his control through land reforms and through a psychological victory in the Korean War, as well as through campaigns against landlords, people he termed "counter-revolutionaries", other perceived enemies of the state. In 1957, he launched a campaign known as the Great Leap Forward that aimed to transform China's economy from agrarian to industrial; this campaign led to the deadliest famine in history and the deaths of 20–45 million people between 1958 and 1962. In 1966, Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution, a program to remove "counter-revolutionary" elements in Chinese society which lasted 10 years and was marked by violent class struggle, widespread destruction of cultural artifacts, an unprecedented elevation of Mao's cult of personality; the program is now regarded as a "severe setback" for the PRC. In 1972, Mao welcomed U.
S. President Richard Nixon in Beijing, signalling the start of a policy of opening China to the world. After years of ill health, Mao suffered a series of heart attacks in 1976 and died at the age of 82, he was succeeded as paramount leader by Premier Hua Guofeng, sidelined and replaced by Deng Xiaoping. A controversial figure, Mao is regarded as one of the most important and influential individuals in modern world history, he is known as a political intellect, military strategist and visionary. Supporters credit him with driving imperialism out of China, modernising the nation and building it into a world power, promoting the status of women, improving education and health care, as well as increasing life expectancy as China's population grew from around 550 million to over 900 million under his leadership. Conversely, his regime has been called autocratic and totalitarian, condemned for bringing about mass repression and destroying religious and cultural artifacts and sites, it was additionally responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 30 to 70 million victims through starvation, prison labour and mass executions.
Mao Zedong was born on December 1893, in Shaoshan village, Hunan Province, China. His father, Mao Yichang, was a impoverished peasant who had become one of the wealthiest farmers in Shaoshan. Growing up in rural Hunan, Mao described his father as a stern disciplinarian, who would beat him and his three siblings, the boys Zemin and Zetan, as well as an adopted girl, Zejian. Mao's mother, Wen Qimei, was a devout Buddhist. Mao too abandoned this faith in his mid-teenage years. At age 8, Mao was sent to Shaoshan Primary School. Learning the value systems of Confucianism, he admitted that he didn't enjoy the classical Chinese texts preaching Confucian morals, instead favouring popular novels like Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin. At age 13, Mao finished primary education, his father united him in an arranged marriage to the 17-year-old Luo Yixiu, thereby uniting their land-owning families. Mao refused to recognise her as his wife, becoming a fierce critic of arranged marriage and temporarily moving away.
Luo was locally disgraced and died in 1910. While working on his father's farm, Mao read voraciously and developed a "political consciousness" from Zheng Guanying's booklet which lamented the deterioration of Chinese power and argued for the adoption of representative democracy. Interested in history, Mao was inspired by the military prowess and nationalistic fervour of George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte, his political views were shaped by Gelaohui-led protests which erupted following a famine in Changsha, the capital of Hunan. The famine spread to Shaoshan, he claimed sympathy for their situation. At age 16, Mao moved to a higher primary school in nearby Dongshan, where he was bullied for his peasant background. In 1911, Mao began middle school in Changsha. Revolutionary sentiment was strong in the city, where there was widespread animosity towards Emperor Puyi's absolute monarchy and many were advocating republicanism; the republicans' figurehead was Sun Yat-sen, an American-educated Christian who led the Tongmenghui society.
In Changsha, Mao was influenced by Sun's
Head of state
A head of state is the public persona who represents the national unity and legitimacy of a sovereign state. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government. In a parliamentary system the head of state is the de jure leader of the nation, there is a separate de facto leader with the title of prime minister. In contrast, a semi-presidential system has both heads of state and government as the leaders de facto of the nation. In countries with parliamentary systems, the head of state is a ceremonial figurehead who does not guide day-to-day government activities or is not empowered to exercise any kind of political authority. In countries where the head of state is the head of government, the head of state serves as both a public figurehead and the highest-ranking political leader who oversees the executive branch. Former French president Charles de Gaulle, while developing the current Constitution of France, said that the head of state should embody l'esprit de la nation.
Some academic writers discuss states and governments in terms of "models". An independent nation state has a head of state, determines the extent of its head's executive powers of government or formal representational functions. In protocolary terms, the head of a sovereign, independent state is identified as the person who, according to that state's constitution, is the reigning monarch, in the case of a monarchy, or the president, in the case of a republic. Among the different state constitutions that establish different political systems, four major types of heads of state can be distinguished: The parliamentary system, with three subset models; the non-executive model, in which the head of state has either none or limited executive powers, has a ceremonial and symbolic role. The Parliamentary-Presidential model, or South African Method, where Parliament chooses the President, who acts as both Head of State and Head of Government; some argue this is unfair, becouse citizens dont get a direct say in their executive leadership.
However, this method makes it impossible for a dictator to come to power. The semi-presidential system, in which the head of state shares key executive powers with a head of government or cabinet. In a federal constituent or a dependent territory, the same role is fulfilled by the holder of an office corresponding to that of a head of state. For example, in each Canadian province the role is fulfilled by the Lieutenant Governor, whereas in most British Overseas Territories the powers and duties are performed by the Governor; the same applies to Indian states, etc.. Hong Kong's constitutional document, the Basic Law, for example, specifies the Chief Executive as the head of the special administrative region, in addition to their role as the head of government; these non-sovereign-state heads have limited or no role in diplomatic affairs, depending on the status and the norms and practices of the territories concerned. In parliamentary systems the head of state may be the nominal chief executive officer, heading the executive branch of the state, possessing limited executive power.
In reality, following a process of constitutional evolution, powers are only exercised by direction of a cabinet, presided over by a head of government, answerable to the legislature. This accountability and legitimacy requires that someone be chosen who has a majority support in the legislature, it gives the legislature the right to vote down the head of government and their cabinet, forcing it either to resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution. The executive branch is thus said to be responsible to the legislature, with the head of government and cabinet in turn accepting constitutional responsibility for offering constitutional advice to the head of state. In parliamentary constitutional monarchies, the legitimacy of the unelected head of state derives from the tacit approval of the people via the elected representatives. Accordingly, at the time of the Glorious Revolution, the English parliament acted of its own authority to name a new king and queen. In monarchies with a written constitution, the position of monarch is a creature of the constitution and could quite properly be abolished through a democratic procedure of constitutional amendment, although there are significant procedural hurdles imposed on such a procedure.
In republics with a parliamentary system the head of state is titled president and the principal functions of such presidents are ceremonial and symbolic, as opposed to the presidents in a presidential or semi-presidential system. In reality, numerous variants exist to the position of a head of state within a parliamentary system; the older the cons
Stalin's cult of personality
Joseph Stalin's cult of personality became a prominent part of Soviet culture in December 1929, after a lavish celebration for Stalin's 50th birthday. For the rest of Stalin's rule, the Soviet press presented Stalin as an all-powerful, all-knowing leader, Stalin's name and image became omnipresent. From 1936 the Soviet journalism started to refer to Joseph Stalin as the Father of Nations; the Soviet press praised Stalin, describing him as "Great", "Beloved", "Bold", "Wise", "Inspirer", "Genius". It portrayed him as a caring yet strong father figure, with the Soviet populace as his "children". Interactions between Stalin and children became a key element of the personality cult. Stalin engaged in publicized gift giving exchanges with Soviet children from a range of different ethnic backgrounds. Beginning in 1935, the phrase, "Thank You Dear Comrade Stalin for a Happy Childhood!" appeared above doorways at nurseries and schools. Speeches described Stalin as "Our Best Collective Farm Worker", "Our Shockworker, Our Best of Best", "Our Darling, Our Guiding Star".
The image of Stalin as a father was one way in which Soviet propagandists aimed to incorporate traditional religious symbols and language into the cult of personality. The cult of personality adopted the Christian traditions of procession and devotion to icons through the use of Stalinist parades and effigies. By reapplying various aspects of religion to the cult of personality, the press hoped to shift devotion away from the church and towards Stalin; the press aimed to demonstrate a direct link between Stalin and the common people. Shortly after the revolution of October 1917 the Ivan Tovstukha drafted up a biographical section featuring Stalin for the Russian Granat Encyclopedia Dictionary. Though most of the description of Stalin's career was much embellished, it had gained so much favor with the public that they released a fourteen-page pamphlet of it alone named Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin: A Short Biography with a print run of 50,000. However, these sorts of accounts declined after World War II.
Another prominent part of Stalin's image in the mass media was his close association with Vladimir Lenin. The Soviet press maintained that Stalin had been Lenin's constant companion while the latter was alive, that as such, Stalin followed Lenin's teachings and could continue the Bolshevik legacy after Lenin's death. Stalin fiercely defended the correctness of Lenin's views in public, in doing so Stalin implied that, as a faithful follower of Leninism, his own leadership was faultless. Lenin did not want Stalin to succeed him, stating that "Comrade Stalin is too rude" and suggesting that the party find someone "more patient, more loyal, more polite". Stalin did not succeed in suppressing Lenin's Testament suggesting that others remove Stalin from his position as leader of the Communist party; however some such as historian Stephen Kotkin have argued that these statements of Lenin were forgeries, they were not written or signed by Lenin but were spoken by him and taken down. According to V. Sakharov the dates on these forged portions contradict the dates in the diaries of Lenin's secretaries and doctors.
Kotkin argues that the leaders of the party, both Stalin and his opponents knew these segments were forged and for this reason they didn't have much impact and Stalin wasn't removed from his post though he offered to step down. Stalin did not contest the validity of the forged segment but turned it into a propaganda weapon against his enemies; the forged section called him "too rude". Lenin's sister Maria defended Stalin against his opponents regarding his friendship with Lenin. Lenin's wife N. Krupskaya came to Stalin's defense, despite earlier being a supporter of Zinoviev. After Lenin's death 500,000 copies of a photograph of the Lenin and Stalin chatting as friends on a bench appeared throughout the Soviet Union. Before 1932, most Soviet propaganda posters showed Stalin together; this propaganda was embraced by Stalin, who weaponized this relationship in speeches to the proletarian, stating Lenin was "the great teacher of the proletarians of all nations" and subsequently identifying himself with the proletarians by their kinship as mutual students of Lenin.
However the two figures merged in the Soviet press. The press attributed any and all success within the Soviet Union to the wise leadership of both Lenin and Stalin, but Stalin alone became the professed cause of Soviet well-being. Stalin became the focus of literature, music and film that exhibited fawning devotion. An example was A. V. Avidenko's "Hymn to Stalin": Thank Stalin. Thank you because I am joyful. Thank you because I am well. No matter how old I become, I shall never forget. Centuries will pass, the generations still to come will regard us as the happiest of mortals, as the most fortunate of men, because we lived in the century of centuries, because we were privileged to see Stalin, our inspired leader... Everything belongs to thee, chief of our
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
An emperor is a monarch, the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife, mother, or a woman who rules in her own right. Emperors are recognized to be of a higher honour and rank than kings. In Europe, the title of Emperor has been used since the Middle Ages, considered in those times equal or equal in dignity to that of Pope due to the latter's position as visible head of the Church and spiritual leader of the Catholic part of Western Europe; the Emperor of Japan is the only reigning monarch whose title is translated into English as Emperor. Both emperors and kings are monarchs, but emperor and empress are considered the higher monarchical titles. Inasmuch as there is a strict definition of emperor, it is that an emperor has no relations implying the superiority of any other ruler and rules over more than one nation, therefore a king might be obliged to pay tribute to another ruler, or be restrained in his actions in some unequal fashion, but an emperor should in theory be free of such restraints.
However, monarchs heading empires have not always used the title in all contexts—the British sovereign did not assume the title Empress of the British Empire during the incorporation of India, though she was declared Empress of India. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor was used by the Holy Roman Emperor, whose imperial authority was derived from the concept of translatio imperii, i.e. they claimed succession to the authority of the Western Roman Emperors, thus linking themselves to Roman institutions and traditions as part of state ideology. Although ruling much of Central Europe and northern Italy, by the 19th century the Emperor exercised little power beyond the German-speaking states. Although technically an elective title, by the late 16th century the imperial title had in practice come to be inherited by the Habsburg Archdukes of Austria and following the Thirty Years' War their control over the states had become nearly non-existent. However, Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of the French in 1804 and was shortly followed by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who declared himself Emperor of Austria in the same year.
The position of Holy Roman Emperor nonetheless continued until Francis II abdicated that position in 1806. In Eastern Europe, the monarchs of Russia used translatio imperii to wield imperial authority as successors to the Eastern Roman Empire, their status was recognised by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1514, although not used by the Russian monarchs until 1547. However, the Russian emperors are better known by their Russian-language title of Tsar after Peter the Great adopted the title of Emperor of All Russia in 1721. Historians have liberally used emperor and empire anachronistically and out of its Roman and European context to describe any large state from the past or the present; such pre-Roman titles as Great King or King of Kings, used by the Kings of Persia and others, are considered as the equivalent. Sometimes this reference has extended to non-monarchically ruled states and their spheres of influence such as the Athenian Empire of the late 5th century BC, the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenets and the Soviet and American "empires" of the Cold War era.
However, such "empires" did not need to be headed by an "emperor". Empire became identified instead with vast territorial holdings rather than the title of its ruler by the mid-18th century. For purposes of protocol, emperors were once given precedence over kings in international diplomatic relations, but precedence amongst heads of state who are sovereigns—whether they be kings, emperors, princes, princesses and to a lesser degree presidents—is determined by the duration of time that each one has been continuously in office. Outside the European context, emperor was the translation given to holders of titles who were accorded the same precedence as European emperors in diplomatic terms. In reciprocity, these rulers might accredit equal titles in their native languages to their European peers. Through centuries of international convention, this has become the dominant rule to identifying an emperor in the modern era. In the Roman tradition a large variety in the meaning and importance of the imperial form of monarchy developed: in intention it was always the highest office, but it could as well fall down to a redundant title for nobility that had never been near to the "Empire" they were supposed to be reigning.
The name of the position split in several branches of Western tradition, see below. The importance and meaning of coronation ceremonies and regalia varied within the tradition: for instance Holy Roman Emperors could only be crowned emperor by the Pope, which meant the coronation ceremony took place in Rome several years after these emperors had ascended to the throne in their home country; the first Latin Emperors of Constantinople on the other hand had to be present in the newly conquered capital of their empire, because, the only place where they could be granted to become emperor. Early Roman Emperors avoided any type of ceremony or regalia different from what was usual for republican offices in the Roman Republic: the most intrusive change had been changing the color of their robe to purple. New symbols of worldly and/or spiritual power, like the orb, became an essential part of the imperial accessories. Rules for indicating successors varied: there was a tendency towards male inheritance of the supreme o
Apotheosis is the glorification of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, in art, where it refers to a genre. In theology, apotheosis refers to the idea. In art, the term refers to the treatment of any subject in a grand or exalted manner. Before the Hellenistic period, imperial cults were known in Ancient Mesopotamia. From the New Kingdom, all deceased pharaohs were deified as the god Osiris. From at least the Geometric period of the ninth century BC, the long-deceased heroes linked with founding myths of Greek sites were accorded chthonic rites in their heroon, or "hero-temple". In the Greek world, the first leader who accorded himself divine honours was Philip II of Macedon. At his wedding to his sixth wife, Philip's enthroned image was carried in procession among the Olympian gods; such Hellenistic state leaders might be raised to a status equal to the gods before death or afterwards. A heroic cult status similar to apotheosis was an honour given to a few revered artists of the distant past, notably Homer.
Archaic and Classical Greek hero-cults became civic, extended from their familial origins, in the sixth century. The Greek hero cults can be distinguished on the other hand from the Roman cult of dead emperors, because the hero was not thought of as having ascended to Olympus or become a god: he was beneath the earth, his power purely local. For this reason hero cults were chthonic in nature, their rituals more resembled those for Hecate and Persephone than those for Zeus and Apollo. Two exceptions were Heracles and Asclepius, who might be honoured as either gods or heroes, sometimes by chthonic night-time rites and sacrifice on the following day. Up to the end of the Republic, Romans accepted only one official apotheosis: the god Quirinus, whatever his original meaning, having been identified with Romulus. Subsequently, apotheosis in ancient Rome was a process whereby a deceased ruler was recognized as having been divine by his successor also by a decree of the Senate and popular consent. In addition to showing respect the present ruler deified a popular predecessor to legitimize himself and gain popularity with the people.
The upper-class did not always take part in the imperial cult, some ridiculed the apotheosis of inept and feeble emperors, as in the satire The Pumpkinification of Claudius attributed to Seneca. At the height of the imperial cult during the Roman Empire, sometimes the emperor's deceased loved ones—heirs, empresses, or lovers, as Hadrian's Antinous—were deified as well. Deified people were awarded posthumously the title Divus to their names to signify their divinity. Traditional Roman religion distinguished between a divus, though not consistently. Temples and columns were erected to provide a space for worship; the Ming dynasty epic Investiture of the Gods deals with deification legends. Numerous mortals have been deified into the Daoist pantheon, such as Guan Yu, Iron-crutch Li and Fan Kuai. Song Dynasty General Yue Fei was deified during the Ming Dynasty and is considered by some practitioners to be one of the three highest ranking heavenly generals. Various Hindu and Buddhist rulers in the past have been represented as deities after death, from Thailand to Indonesia.
Several Sultans of Yogyakarta were semi-deified, posthumously. Deceased North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung is the principal object of the North Korean cult of personality in which he is treated to an explicitly apotheosized leader, with statues of and monuments dedicated to the "Eternal President", the annual commemoration of his birth, the paying of respects by newlyweds to his nearest statue, the North Korean calendar being a Juche calendar based on Kim Il-sung's date of birth. Instead of the word "apotheosis", Christian theology uses in English the words "deification" or "divinization" or the Greek word "theosis". Traditional mainstream theology, both East and West, views Jesus Christ as the preexisting God who undertook mortal existence, not as a mortal being who attained divinity, it holds that he has made it possible for human beings to be raised to the level of sharing the divine nature: he became one of us to make us "partakers of the divine nature" "For this is why the Word became man, the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."
"For He was made man that we might be made God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods." The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology contains the following in an article titled "Deification": Deification is for Orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is'made in the image and likeness of God.'... It is possible for
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was a Soviet statesman who led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, for backing the progress of the early Soviet space program, for several liberal reforms in areas of domestic policy. Khrushchev's party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier. Khrushchev was born in 1894 in the village of Kalinovka, close to the present-day border between Russia and Ukraine, he was employed as a metal worker during his youth, he was a political commissar during the Russian Civil War. With the help of Lazar Kaganovich, he worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy, he supported Joseph Stalin's purges, approved thousands of arrests. In 1938, Stalin sent him to govern Ukraine, he continued the purges there.
During what was known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War, Khrushchev was again a commissar, serving as an intermediary between Stalin and his generals. Khrushchev was present at the bloody defense of Stalingrad, a fact he took great pride in throughout his life. After the war, he returned to Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers. On 5 March 1953, the death of Stalin triggered a power struggle in which Khrushchev emerged victorious after consolidating his leadership of the party with that of the Council of Ministers. On 25 February 1956, at the 20th Party Congress, he delivered the "Secret Speech", which denounced Stalin's purges and ushered in a less repressive era in the Soviet Union, his domestic policies, aimed at bettering the lives of ordinary citizens, were ineffective in agriculture. Hoping to rely on missiles for national defense, Khrushchev ordered major cuts in conventional forces. Despite the cuts, Khrushchev's rule saw the most tense years of the Cold War, culminating in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Khrushchev's popularity was eroded by flaws in his policies. This emboldened his potential opponents, who rose in strength and deposed the Premier in October 1964. However, he did not suffer the deadly fate of previous Soviet power struggles, was pensioned off with an apartment in Moscow and a dacha in the countryside, his lengthy memoirs were smuggled to the West and published in part in 1970. Khrushchev died in 1971 of a heart attack. Khrushchev was born on 15 April 1894, in Kalinovka, a village in what is now Russia's Kursk Oblast, near the present Ukrainian border, his parents, Sergei Khrushchev and Xeniya Khrushcheva, were poor peasants of Russian origin, had a daughter two years Nikita's junior, Irina. Sergei Khrushchev was employed in a number of positions in the Donbas area of far eastern Ukraine, working as a railwayman, as a miner, labouring in a brick factory. Wages were much higher in the Donbas than in the Kursk region, Sergei Khrushchev left his family in Kalinovka, returning there when he had enough money.
Kalinovka was a peasant village. Nikita worked as a herdsboy from an early age, he was schooled for a total of four years, part in the village parochial school and part under Shevchenko's tutelage in Kalinovka's state school. According to Khrushchev in his memoirs, Shevchenko was a freethinker who upset the villagers by not attending church, when her brother visited, he gave the boy books, banned by the Imperial Government, she urged Nikita to seek further education. In 1908, Sergei Khrushchev moved to the Donbas city of Yuzovka. Yuzovka, renamed Stalino in 1924 and Donetsk in 1961, was at the heart of one of the most industrialized areas of the Russian Empire. After the boy worked in other fields, Khrushchev's parents found him a place as a metal fitter's apprentice. Upon completing that apprenticeship, the teenage Khrushchev was hired by a factory, he lost that job when he collected money for the families of the victims of the Lena Goldfields Massacre, was hired to mend underground equipment by a mine in nearby Rutchenkovo, where his father was the union organiser, he helped distribute copies and organise public readings of Pravda.
He stated that he considered emigrating to the United States for better wages, but did not do so. When World War I broke out in 1914, Khrushchev was exempt from conscription because he was a skilled metal worker, he was employed by a workshop that serviced ten mines, he was involved in several strikes that demanded higher pay, better working conditions, an end to the war. In 1914, he married daughter of the lift operator at the Rutchenkovo mine. In 1915, they had a daughter, in 1917, a son, Leonid. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in 1917, the new Russian Provisional Government in Petrograd had little influence over Ukraine. Khrushchev was elected to the worker's council in Rutchenkovo, in May he became its chairman, he did not join the Bolsheviks until 1918, a year in which the Russian Civil War, between the Bolsheviks and a coalition of opponents known as the White Army, began in earnest. His biographer, William Taubman, suggests that Khrushchev's delay in affiliating himself with the Bolsheviks was because he felt closer to the Mensheviks who prioritised economic progress, whereas the Bolsheviks so