Soviet Union: The Hard-Liner

Death of an ideologue

When Mikhail Suslov, the Soviet Communist Party's chief ideologue, made his final television appearance last December, the image that flashed on Soviet screens was a veritable icon of the Kremlin's masters. In an arresting gesture that symbolized 17 years of shared power, the lanky, 6-ft.-tall Suslov, 79, bent down to bestow a kiss on Leonid Brezhnev, who was celebrating his 75th birthday. Brezhnev will sorely miss such accolades, both ceremonial and substantive. Suslov's death last week from a stroke deprived Brezhnev of his most influential ally in the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!