Communists: Happy Returns, Nikita

In Moscow last week, amid quiet vodka toasts and cries of Mnogie leta! (Many years of life), Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev turned 68. Unlike Joseph Stalin, whose birthdays became vast public orgies of obeisance, Khrushchev celebrates his anniversaries in private. In fact, he had little reason to celebrate—and was under doctor's orders not to. Though four years younger than Stalin at the time of his death, Khrushchev has high blood pressure and a heart condition. Moscow rumors persist that he suffered a stroke in recent months; twice, after absences that were officially...

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