From Brezhnev To Gorbachev: Infighting In The Kremlin

1st Edition

Baruch A. Hazan

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 272 Pages
ISBN 9780367006532 - CAT# K402984

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Summary

From 1982 to 1985, the period on which this book focuses, the Soviet Union was governed by a succession of ailing old men—Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko—who, supported by an equally elderly Politburo, were often physically incapable of controlling and directing the bureaucratic state machine and party organization. This unprecedented situation precipitated a secret and bitter power struggle within the top Soviet leadership between two main factions: the Chernenko apparatchiks, who had risen to power under Brezhnev and owed their positions to him; and the supporters of Andropov, including the younger, more dynamic, and power-hungry members of the party elite, who had been advocating fairly bold reforms to deal with the grave social and economic problems facing the USSR. Dr. Hazan provides a detailed analysis of this hidden power struggle as he examines the final years of Brezhnev's reign and the brief ascendancies of Andropov and Chernenko. These rapid changes led to the demise of the old guard in the Politburo and the emergence of a new breed of leader in Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the final consolidation of his power at the 27th CPSU Congress. Drawing on an extensive range of primary sources and using vivid examples of how the factions exploited the gigantic propaganda machine of the Soviet mass media, the author looks behind the Kremlin's walls to explore the essence of Soviet politics. The book describes the power base of each of the recent Soviet leaders and analyzes the steps they took to consolidate their positions and tighten controls over the bureaucracy and the military.

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