Beyond the Shoe: Rethinking Khrushchev at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

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    By Warren K. Leffler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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An article by Alessandro Iandolo, 'Beyond the Shoe: Rethinking Khrushchev at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly' has been published in the January 2017 issue of Diplomatic History.

Abstract

History tends to remember Soviet participation at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA, September 1960–April 1961) because of Nikita Khrushchev’s shoe. On October 13, 1960, the Soviet leader allegedly banged his shoe against his desk in the General Assembly hall to protest a speech he did not like. The incident is among the most well known in the history of the Cold War. However, despite the interest it has generated, Khrushchev’s conduct was the least important aspect of Soviet relations with the UN in 1960–61. This article reassesses Soviet participation at the Fifteenth Session of the GA in light of its medium- and long-term consequences for UN structure, practices, and vision. It also brings the issue of Moscow’s relations with UN members from the Third World, until now overlooked in the existing literature, into the story of this UN session.

Dr Alessandro Iandolo is Departmental Lecturer in International Relations