Leadership and Succession in the Soviet Union, Eastern by Martin McCauley, Stephen Carter

By Martin McCauley, Stephen Carter

First released in 1986. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an Informa corporation

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Still, matters were not cut and dried in 1924 when Lenin died, and as a device to enhance his chances Stalin proposed that the Party should swell its ranks with a special 'Lenin enrolment' in honour of the deceased leader. It was an astute move. How could Trotsky or Bukharin resist such a suggestion: to have done so would have seemed disloyal to the great Lenin, and place-seeking to boot. But who would be responsible for the enrolment? Who would decide who was admitted to the Party? The Secretary General, of course; and if the new members soon swamped the old, Leninist membership, who might be far less pliant, so much the better.

81-146). The Natolinists were dropped from the Politburo, notably 46 Poland Defence Minister, Marshal Konstanty Rokossowski. Gommka's programme set out in his plenum speech of 20 October was approved amidst widespread popular enthusiasm. ) Gommka was not a real socialist reformer, however. He merely confirmed the gains of 'October'. His coming to power signalled the end of the political and social pluralism and PZPR paralysis which had made them possible (cf.

He was elevated to the Central Committee Secretariat in 1957, and to the KGB chairmanship in 1967. An effective and ruthless man, qualities demonstrated by his handling of the Hungarian crisis of 1956, and by his restoration of morale and status to the KGB 1967-82, he was widely feared and respected. In retrospect, his initiatives in home policy have continued to exert influence, while foreign policy, symbolised by the everpresent Gromyko, has also shown continuity rather than change. Only Andropov's terminal ill-health after August 1983, coincided with a worsening of the international atmosphere after the downing of Korean Airlines 007, and the Soviet mishandling of arms negotiations after the installation of medium-range missiles in Europe later that year.

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