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Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938 / Edition 1
     

Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938 / Edition 1

5.0 1
by John Archibald Getty
 

ISBN-10: 0521335701

ISBN-13: 9780521335706

Pub. Date: 11/28/2003

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This is a study of the structure of the Soviet Communist Party in the 1930s. Based upon archival and published sources, the work describes the events in the Bolshevik Party leading up to the Great Purges of 1937-1938. Professor Getty concludes that the party bureaucracy was chaotic rather than totalitarian, and that local officials had relative autonomy within a

Overview

This is a study of the structure of the Soviet Communist Party in the 1930s. Based upon archival and published sources, the work describes the events in the Bolshevik Party leading up to the Great Purges of 1937-1938. Professor Getty concludes that the party bureaucracy was chaotic rather than totalitarian, and that local officials had relative autonomy within a considerably fragmented political system. The Moscow leadership, of which Stalin was the most authoritarian actor, reacted to social and political processes as much as instigating them. Because of disputes, confusion, and inefficiency, they often promoted contradictory policies. Avoiding the usual concentration on Stalin's personality, the author puts forward the controversial hypothesis that the Great Purges occurred not as the end product of a careful Stalin plan, but rather as the bloody but ad hoc result of Moscow's incremental attempts to centralise political power.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521335706
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2003
Series:
Cambridge Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies Series , #43
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of tables; Preface; Introduction: the Great Purges as history; 1. The Communist Party in the thirties; 2. What was a purge?; 3. The Verification of Party Documents of 1935: a case study in bureaucratic ineptitude; 4. Radicalism and party revival; 5. Radicalism and enemies of the people; 6. The crisis matures: 1937; 7. Epilogue: the Ezhovshchina; Conclusion: some observations on politics in the thirties; Appendix: the Kirov assassination; Bibliographic essay; Notes; Index.

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Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered, 1933-1938 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent and highly recommended work. It seeks truth, not for the author's own ends but to better understand the history and context of the social experiment in Russia that attempted to embark humanity on a different path. Getty is critical but generally fair in his assesments, he makes sharp criticisms of shoddy 'Stalin was a monolithic dictator' journalism while being critical from a reality-based point of view. He is an excellent detective of truth, and he studies and reads more from the Soviet Archives than probably all the other 'experts' on the former Soviet Union. An absolutely brilliant work, any student of the former USSR, Russia, Communism, Stalin HAS TO READ THIS BOOK!