Do you know who the second longest serving Soviet leader was?

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Leonid Brezhnev was the dominant force in Soviet politics during the middle period of the Cold War and led his country at the same time as Nixon, our previous Cold War People subject. We have previously seen the rise and fall of detente during Brezhnev’s years in power, and how in the 1970s, under Brezhnev’s watch, the USSR became more involved in military endeavors in other countries. Today, we will see the wider changes he undertook in Soviet society, and reflect on his economic legacy, something that would be key as the 1980s wore on.

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Hope you enjoy!

George Levrier-Jones

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The Cold War wasn't just dangerous - as this syndicated article shows us!

20130814 JFK letter tumblr_mm8gbtbefn1r6kbseo1_500.jpg

A letter dated September 3, 1962 shows JFK asking his Mom, Rose Kennedy, to stop mailing Khrushchev for pictures.  What’s even funnier, is it looks like she sent the photos she received to her son so that he could sign them.

At the time, the U.S. had just launched the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and had installed an embargo against Cuba in February 1962.  A month prior to this letter, the U.S. become aware that the Soviets were building the missiles sites in Cuba.  The month after this letter was sent the U.S. would be involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis for almost two weeks.

His Mom’s response is pretty funny:

“I understand very well your letter, although I had not thought of it before. …When I ask for Castro’s autograph, I will let you know in advance!”


This article originally appeared here on the History Kicks Ass blog, an interesting and varied blog about topics in history!


Clickable references


JFK Presidential Library