When Grandpa Was A Boy, Were There Any Dinosaurs?

Up In The World

Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, photographed in 1967 by Ulrich Kohls

1964: Leonid Brezhnev replaced Nikita Khrushchev at the top of the Soviet pecking order. Brezhnev enjoyed the trappings of power, with no Marxist misgivings about the privileged lifestyle of the communist leadership.

Muscovites joked about Brezhnev attempting to show his mother how he had come up in the world. He gave her a tour of his spacious Moscow residence, but she said nothing. He drove her by limousine to his dacha to admire the rooms and grounds, but she said nothing. He flew her by personal helicopter to his hunting lodge, but still she said nothing. Eventually, Brezhnev could no longer restrain himself. “Mama,” he implored, “what do you think?”

“Well,” she hesitated, “it’s good, Leonid. But what if the Reds come back?”

Source: Hedrick Smith, The Russians (1976), p. 38

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