After the removal from power of Khrushchev in October 1964, two new leaders emerged in the ample shape of L. I. Brezhnev and the more slender figure of A. N. Kosygin. Their order of precedence turned out to be more than alphabetical (unlike the earlier B. and K.), and a new if at first minor ‘cult of personality’ was erected around the substantial figure of Mr Brezhnev. Having occurred once as tragedy with Stalin and once as farce with Khrushchev, the ‘cult of personality’ now appeared to be making a bid to become a long-running serial. Was the need for an outstanding individual so deeply embedded in the political culture of the Russian and other Soviet peoples that such a role was now thrust upon Mr Brezhnev whether he liked it or not?
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