Neal Ascherson writes a good essay on Nikita Khrushchev in The London Review of Books, by way of reviewing Taubmans biography. Just one passage: "He was not paranoid, as Stalin was, but somehow drew energy from the idea that everything and everyone in the cosmos treated him as an upstart, a stubby-fingered boor who must not be allowed to succeed. He would show them. He did show them. The chip on his shoulder was the biggest carried by any leader in history, Napoleon and Hitler not excepted. It was heavy enough to crush the world, and in the Cuba crisis of 1962, it very nearly did so."