Medicine: Kremlin Case History

Joseph Stalin's doctors had known for years that their patient had hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure; the signs show over a long period and are unmistakable. There was not much they could do about it, except to warn him against overexertion and overexcitement. A few recently discovered drugs such as hexamethonium (TIME, Aug. 4) and Apresoline give some patients a degree of temporary relief, but that is all.

The hemorrhage, as is usual in such cases, came without warning. It could not have mattered whether Stalin was in earnest conference, or...

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