Review Of Nikita Khrushchev's Kitchen Debate

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On July 24th 1959 the Kitchen Debate, as it became known, occurred in a model American kitchen between the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and the US Vice President Richard Nixon. The leaders were opening the American trade exhibition in Moscow's Sokolniki Park. This event resulted from a cultural agreement signed between the USA and USSR that promised a greater, more open, exchange of ideas and information in 1958. The first exhibition was a Russian exhibition in New York in which ‘the Soviets ploughed the equivalent of $US12 million into their exhibition’ (Alpha History, 2015). The exhibitions were used as a propaganda opportunity to portray the superiority of one system over the other. Both Nixon and Khrushchev were well aware of how public…show more content…
He sees that the American capitalist system as a superficial way of life that is only materialistic. To Khrushchev, America lacked a real sense of culture, thinking only of the material ways of living. Another sense of deep irony was when Khrushchev referred to Nixon as the "lawyer of capitalism" and he was the “lawyer of communism”. Khrushchev was determined to win his case as he glorified equality in communism compared to the power of the American dollar and impact on the society. He suggests that the American people are “slaves to capitalism”, by mockingly wondering how a Moscow citizen is a "slave of communism" when the American citizen is homeless and powerless without the dollar. Nixon tried to underrate the statements of superiority of his community by almost referring to it as banter, when he described his opponent as "energetic". Khrushchev was quick to respond and corrected him, "energetic is not the same as wise". The extract also depicts Nixon’s lack of dialogue, with the conversation mostly geared by Khrushchev. Nixon pushes through calling Khrushchev a "filibusterer" and someone who doesn't "concede to anything" steering the topic towards the American…show more content…
The debate was like a boxing match, with Nixon trying to be a wise diplomat without being submissive, “you are strong and we are strong”, trying to even out the odds and win Khrushchev over. Nixon had tried to steer away from weapons discussion to the technology breakthroughs, the power of “will and spirit”, and the modern way of life that capitalism had to offer. The tone in the end is uncertain, with a hint of remaining mistrust with both leaders ambiguously promising that they want “peace and

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