Jonathan Harris demonstrates that the leaders of Stalin's Secretariat clashed sharply over the nature of the Communist party's 'leadership' of the Soviet state in the period between 1939 and 1948. The term 'party leadership' is generally misunderstood; it does not refer to the activities of the party as a whole, but to the efforts of its full time officials (the 'inner party') to direct the activities of the members of the party who manned the Soviet state (the 'outer party'). This study argues that A. Zhdanov and G. Malenkov, the two junior Secretaries of the CC/VKP(B) who directed the two major bureaucratic divisions of the Secretariat for most of the period under review, supported diametrically opposed conceptions of the leadership to be provided by the party's officials. A. Zhdanov argued that they should give priority to the ideological education of all members of the party and should allow the Communists who manned the state considerable autonomy in their administration of the five-year plans. In direct contrast, G. Malenkov, who directed the cadres directorate for most of the period under review, had little sympathy for ideological education and urged party officials to engage in close and detailed direction of the Communists who directly administered the five-year plans. This study contends that it is possible to illustrate this never-ending conflict by a careful examination of the public discussion of this issue in the various publications controlled by the major divisions of the Secretariat. When examined in conjunction with recently published archival materials, it is possible to pinpoint the linkages between the leadership conflict within the Secretariat, the shifts in the ongoing public discussion, and Stalin's role as the final arbiter in the dispute.
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About the Author
Jonathan Harris is associate professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Chapter I. The Split in Stalin's Secretariat Chapter 2 Chapter II. Stalin, the Secretariat, and the Sovnarkom, 1930-1939 Chapter 3 Chapter III. Zhdanov and Malenkov, 1939-1941 Chapter 4 Chapter IV. The War and the Apparat, 1941-1943 Chapter 5 Chapter V. The War and the Apparat, 1943-1945 Chapter 6 Chapter VI. The Turbulent Restoration, 1945-1946 Chapter 7 Chapter VII. Zhdanov's Uneasy Ascendancy, 1946 Chapter 8 Chapter VIII. Confusion and Compromise at the Top, 1947 Chapter 9 Chapter IX. Zhdanov's Last Months, January-July 1948 Chapter 10 Chapter X. Conclusion