Fidel Castro is well-known for giving 4- or even 7-hour speeches. Xi Jinping gave a 3h 20min communist party congress speech. How does the latter compare to typical PRC or Soviet leaders speeches at their part congresses? Were there longer (than 3 hour) speeches by such Soviet or Chinese leaders?

  • Its possible there's some kind of record of this, but honestly in authoritarian countries, it seems quite possible that nobody cared enough about anyone else's speeches to bother to record such details.
    – T.E.D.
    Aug 12, 2022 at 13:35
  • 3
    My recollection is that Brezhnev's speeches at CPSU congresses were 4 hour long. Aug 12, 2022 at 16:19
  • There's a possibly apocryphal story of a speech of Stalin's that was released on a set vinyl records, with the eighth and final side being devoted entirely to applause. Perfunctory Googling only finds references to people wondering whether this is actually true, though, so who knows if it actually happened. Aug 15, 2022 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Yes, a 4-6 hour "main report" of the party leader to the congress was the norm throughout the time when the CPSU was in power.

I remember having to study the Gorbachev's speech to the 27th congress, it was a hard cover book of >100 pages, about the same size as Arnold's "Ordinary differential equations" (and also with red cover), but much much much more boring.

The speech was normally televised. The only exception I know of is the Brezhnev's speech to the 26th congress which he, apparently, was not able to finish reading himself: he started, read for about an hour, then the TV stopped and he was replaced with an assistant for the "live audience" (congress delegates).

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