The Soviet Elite from Lenin to Gorbachev: The Central Committee and Its Members 1917-1991

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Although the product of a self-proclaimed proletarian revolution, Soviet Russia was always dominated by an elite. Basing itself upon nearly two thousand people who served on the Communist Party's Central Committee from 1917 to 1991, this is the first book to study the elite that ruled the world's largest country throughout the entire period of Soviet rule. It is also the first to make full use of the rich sources available since the collapse of Communism. The authors profile theelite as a whole and looks more closely at fifteen individual members, identifying four elite generations. The book examines the evolving connection between Central Committee membership and administrative functions; the changing power and privileges of the elite and its relationship with the population;the Communist party and the top leaders; and the surprising extent to which the elite managed to maintain its position into the early years of post-communist Russia.
 

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Contents

1 Revolutionaries in Power 19171923
1
2 Old Bolsheviks Socialist Construction and the Purges 19231939
34
3 Stalins New Elite 19391956
91
4 Stalinist Generation Leninist Norms 19561966
136
5 The Elite Consolidates 19661985
167
6 Challenge and Crisis 19851991
195
7 Elite and Society
241
8 An Evolving Elite
275
Bibliography
303
Index
317
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About the author (2000)


Evan Mawdsley is Professor of International History, University of Glasgow.

Stephen White is Professor of Politics, University of Glasgow.