Sunday, August 30, 2009

Safire on Nixon, Khrushchev -- "They Were Deadly Serious..."

In the second part of his comments about the Nixon-Khrushchev "Kitchen Debate," noted columnist and author William Safire talks about the broader context in which the showdown took place, pointing out that it is often forgotten today "how close a race it was" between the two superpowers, since what now appears as the inevitable victory of capitalism and democracy was by no means so certain 50 years ago. Safire tells his audience at the GWU "Face-off to Facebook" conference that the most important breakthrough of that Moscow Cold War summer was in fact in the realm of public diplomacy -- namely, that for the first time an American leader was able to speak directly, on television and radio, to the Soviet public.

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