Russia: Coexisting with Failure

Nikita Khrushchev spent the week explaining himself.

His immediate problem was finding reasons why Soviet agriculture had not lived up to his 1957 promises to overtake the U.S. in per capita production of grain, meat and milk by this year. Even by the Russians' own figures, the 1960 output was nothing to boast about: grain, 131 million tons (U.S. total: 176 million tons); meat, 8,725,000 tons (U.S.: 12.8 million tons). Khrushchev blamed all on his hapless underlings in the field, and the press spread his charges far and wide. "There," roared the boss, "sits [Nikifor] Kalchenko, member of the Central...

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