World: Nikita's Boy

The next of kin of Russia's great have often lived in fear and died in horror. Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great slew their sons; Catherine the Great killed her husband. Stalin shot his wife in 1934, later tried perhaps to make amends by corrupting his son Vasily with unearned honors that did him little good; in 1962 truculent Vasily died in exile, probably from alcoholism.

In this, as in most other respects, Nikita Khrushchev's style is more bourgeois than Borgia. His only son Sergei is a bespectacled engineer who shuns the limelight the way Papa relishes it. What really...

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