Khrushchev - Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

William Taubman
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Chapter 16 Summary

May Day celebrations at the Kremlin are intended to project public support for the regime, but many marchers are in it just for a good time. Khrushchev is awakened at dawn by a call reporting another American U-2 spy plane is heading towards the heartland of the USSR. Khrushchev hurries to an emergency Presidium meeting. Western reconnaissance overflights have been occurring since 1946, but grew more brazen in 1952. U-2 missions were fairly regular - and protested by the Soviets -- in 1956-57, but sporadic thereafter. Khrushchev is obsessed with U-2 flights, but keeps silence about them at Camp David.

Every U-2 mission requires presidential authorization, but since Khrushchev's American trip, Eisenhower has authorized none -- despite Democratic campaigning about the USSR being ahead in the "missile gap" - until April 9, 1960, when all the key missile and nuclear facilities were photographed and could not be downed. Khrushchev cannot believe...

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This section contains 1,668 words
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Buy the Khrushchev Study Guide
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