March 8, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- William C. Taubman, the Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, has received the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography for Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003), the first comprehensive biography of the Soviet Communist leader, and the first of any Soviet leader to reflect the full range of sources that have become available since the U.S.S.R. collapsed. The National Book Critics Circle, founded in 1974, consists of literary critics from throughout the nation.
Khrushchev: The Man and His Era tells the story of both Khrushchev's personal triumphs and tragedy and those of his country. Drawing on newly opened archives in Russia and Ukraine, Taubman also has traveled to places where Khrushchev lived and worked, and interviewed Khrushchev family members, friends and colleagues.
Khrushchev rose from humble beginnings in a peasant village to Stalin's inner circle. He won a bitter battle to succeed Stalin in 1953, but was ignominiously ousted in 1964. Taubman's biography of Khrushchev combines historical narrative and political and psychological analysis.
Taubman, a member of the Amherst faculty since 1967, was educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities. An associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard, chair of the Advisory Committee of the Cold War International History Project at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations with the Department of State, Taubman is the author of many books. He wrote Moscow Spring (1989) with his wife Jane Taubman, a professor of Russian at Amherst College, Stalin's American Policy (1982), Governing Soviet Cities (1973) and The View from Lenin Hills (1967). He has contributed to The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, among many other newspapers, magazines and journals.