Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military Politics

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The basic rationale for this detailed study of the military party organs is to generate evidence about the question of persistence in army-party relations.
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Overview

The basic rationale for this detailed study of the military party organs is to generate evidence about the question of persistence in army-party relations.
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Editorial Reviews

Russian Review
It has been generally assumed by Western observers that there is and has been tension in the military between the party's political officers and the military commanders... [Colton] argues the contrary thesis that the Military Party Organs for the most part are not in conflict with the regular military staff and command... Professor Colton is able to support his theses with an abundance of evidence...He not only has surveyed all the available military press and some of the party and government press but has made extensive use of the published memoirs by military commanders in World War II... This volume is well worth reading and makes an important contribution in refuting the views of many Western observers on Soviet civil-military relations.
Slavic Review
Colton's study is excellent in terms of both content and methodology.
Choice
A fine, scholarly book that will no doubt quickly establish itself as the standard work on the role of the Soviet military as a political actor and as an institution. It is a basic study and a clear historical review, and at the same time it presents an advanced and sophisticated analytical approach to Soviet military politics...The result is a detailed study of the Soviet military that has high comparative value for the examination of military political conduct in general. This is an advanced work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674145351
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1979
  • Series: Russian Research Center Studies Series
  • Pages: 373
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy J. Colton is the Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies, and the Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, at Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

I. The Military Party Organs

1. The Structure of the Military Party Organs

2. The Roles of the Military Party Organs

3. The Military Party Organs in Military Administration

4. The Monitoring Capability of the Military Party Organs

II. The Military Party Organs and Military Politics

5. Routine Administrative Politics

6. The Great Purge

7. World War II Decision Making

8. The Zhukov Affair

9. Public Demand Articulations

III. Army-Party Relations Reassessed

10. The Army in Soviet Politics: Capabilities and Participation

11. Explaining the Army's Political Quiescence

12. Civil-Military Relations and Soviet Development

Appendix A: Biographical Data on Soviet Military Officers

Appendix B: A Note on Primary Sources

Notes

Index

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