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If there was a golden age of the Soviet Union, it was presided over by Nikita Khrushchev. In 1957, he saw two Sputnik launches and was voted Time’s Man of the Year. Away from home, Soviet armed forces successfully suppressed rebellions in Poland and Hungary. And by offering Egypt aid during the Suez Canal crisis, Khrushchev won a major public relations victory: By denouncing colonialism, he could be viewed by nonaligned nations as the leader of the Free World. Economically, well, that was back when the supreme soviet could say with a straight face, “Comrades! Socialism means first of all full stomachs, felt boots, and sheepskin jackets.” Unfortunately, Khrushchev’s star wouldn’t rise much higher than it did in ’57: By then, major agricultural reforms were already failing, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 would seriously diminish his foreign reputation. Dr. Sergei Krushchev, a prominent scientistand Nikita’s sonhas been a prolific scholar and historian of his father’s life. He has lectured since 1989 and is currently a senior fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute (insert eyebrow gesture here) for International Studies at Brown University. Tonight, he will discuss his new book, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower. Hear the story of the Cold War from the Russian side at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium, 10th and& Constitution Avenue NW. $20. (202) 357-3030. (Janet Hopf)