RUSSIA: The Stubby Peasant

From all the world's front pages last week flashed the snaggle-toothed grin of a stubby little muzhik—a peasant's son who in less than five years had emerged from relative obscurity to become the most amazing dictator the world had ever seen. This was no introverted intellectual like Lenin, no hysterical neurotic like Hitler, no brooding Byzantine murderer like Stalin. This was a cocky, ebullient farm boy—a man who could work all day, drink all night and, as he demonstrated again and again last week, jauntily settle historic issues with a quip or a proverb.

Was there a danger that the...

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