Five Star, Apr 2004, 25.95, 232 pp.
In 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev comes to America to meet with President Eisenhower. Comrade Khrushchev has two special requests of Ike both in Southern California. He wants to visit Disneyland and meet Marilyn Monroe as he saw the actress' film Some Like It Hot at the American National Exhibit in Moscow.
Ike arranges the meeting with Miss Monroe, but vetoes Disneyland as too dangerous especially since several foreign countries want to see the Soviet dead. His speech at the UN inflamed the Chinese Nationalists on Formosa and the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution two years earlier have angered individuals from that satellite nation. Khrushchev arrives in Los Angeles to a rather shabby greeting until Miss Monroe gives him superstar treatment. When she learns that a third group plans an assassination she does everything to keep the Russian bear alive not just to prevent World War III, but because they have become friends.
Though Marilyn Monroe serving as a world savior may seem implausible, readers will believe she did save Khrushchev's life in this remarkable historical tale. The story line flows with life in the 1950s with the threat of nuclear war hanging over everyone. Readers who remember the “duck and cover” exercises in school need to deny it to hide their age. Though terrific insights into the era and Miss Monroe, BOMBSHELL belongs to the vivid full depiction of Khrushchev, who does not get enough credit for de-Stalinization and recognizing his country's lack of nuclear parity by not raising the ante during the Cuban missile crisis.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner