Fidel Castro (1926– ) led the Communist revolution in Cuba that overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. In 1960, Castro made a trade agreement with the Soviet Union, which heightened Cold War tension. Eventually the United States severed economic and diplomatic ties with the island nation. Castro remained Cuba’s leader until 2008, when he turned over power to his brother Raúl Castro.
J. Edgar Hoover (1895–1972) was the controversial director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1924 to 1972. After studying law, Hoover worked for the Department of Justice and the attorney general. At just twenty-nine years old, he was named director of the FBI. Hoover reorganized the FBI and instituted new policies and training to transform the bureau into a respected and specialized organization. In the 1930s, Hoover led the FBI in investigating cases of espionage, communism, and fascism, as well as well-known criminals....
Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971) emerged as a leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. In 1956, Khrushchev denounced Stalin and began working to improve the Soviet image in the international community. In the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev agreed to President John F. Kennedy’s demand to remove Soviet missiles from Cuba. The agreement was considered a humiliating defeat by Khrushchev’s fellow Soviets. His domestic programs also largely failed, and he was peacefully deposed in 1964.
Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) was an influential religious leader in the 1950s who emphasized positive thinking as a way of improving one’s life. Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking was a 1952 best seller and he gained countless followers for his optimistic message.