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Nikita Khrushchev is undoubtedly one of the most important and interesting political figures of the twentieth century Rising from a background of extreme poverty he became an early supporter of the November 1917 bolshevik revolution During the inter war years he joined the Communist Party and rose steadily through its ranks by the outbreak of World War II he was firmly entrenched as one of the most important Soviet politicians and statesmen He continued on in this capacity throughout the war years and rose to power following the death of Stalin in 1953 Khrushchev then initiated a series of great reforms which completely changed the face of politics and indeed life in general in the Soviet Union Ultimately however many of these reforms failed to achieve of their primary goals and these failures led not only to Khrushchevs personal political downfall but also to major changes in the global political climate Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was born on 17 April 1894 in Kalinovka a small village in the province of Kursk which lies just on the Russian side of the border with the Ukraine Sergi Nikanorovich Khrushev his father was an average poor peasant who left the family each winter to work in the coalfields of the Donets Basin Khrushevs family lived in an area cursed with overpopulation many people lived there because of the fertile soil which they hoped to use to feed their families The overpopulated malnourished villages were centers for disease diphtheria typhus and syphilis was widespread This poverty was to dominate Khrushchevs memories of peasant life Like most peasant boys Khrushchev started work at an early age His first job was guarding the village animals Later he worked as a herdsboy for the local land owner Khrushchev attended the village school for approximately two years between the ages of seven and twelve In a land of general illiteracy even two years of formal education was an important advantage In
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