Resolutions and Decisions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Volume 5: The Brezhnev Years 1964-1981
This set of four volumes is an indispensable reference work for the study of modern Russia in general and Soviet Communism in particular. Ever since its foundation on the eve of the twentieth century, the organization now called the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has been embodying its major policies in documents called 'resolutions and decisions.' These form a much more continuous and extensive record of the evolution of Soviet Communism than the writings of any single leader, and the standard Soviet anthology of these materials has gone through eight editions over a fifty-year period. Yet most of this essential material has been available only in Russian, and even in that language the standard editions have been marred by selectivity and editorial comment that is often politically motivated.
At last students of modern Russian studies have access to a multi-volume work that not only presents the most important Communist Party resolutions and decisions in English, but also amplifies the standard Soviet anthology in important respects and provides editorial explanation that is independent of Kremlin politics. The rich store of materials in these four volumes ranges from the formation of the party to the fall of Khrushchev, and it deals with a wide range of issues. The clearly organized volumes each contain a major introductory essay as well as shorter background essays on each party congress, conference or Central Committee plenum. The documents approved by these meetings are often fundamental in importance, but the centralist operation of the party in power has been such that many of the most vital decisions have been issued in the name of the Central Committee when there was no meeting of that body at all. It is one of the signal achievements of these volumes that the selection of materials included was based on a list of all known part decisions, whether or not they have been included in the main Soviet reference work.
The four volumes in this series are edited as an integral set. Each contains a subject index in which Russian abbreviations and acronymic names are translated. Tables summarizing the personnel of the main party executive bodies since 1917 are also provided. At the same time each of the volumes is built around a coherent period in the development of Russian Communism, and each reflects the special features of its time.
Volume 5 covers Brezhnev's consolidation of power; the limits set on his rule are traced through leadership changes, institutional reforms, and policy development. The major industrial reforms, and policy development. The major industrial and agricultural reforms introduced under Brezhnev are documented, as are the struggle to implement the reforms, the resistance of managerial elites and workers, and Brezhnev's attempt to modernize the Soviet economy and improve levels of efficiency and productivity.
Internal party changes reflecting the stable oligarchy that emerged after Khrushchev's removal are included, as well as Brezhnev's commitment to security of tenure for cadres and the changing nature and role of the purge. Party efforts to upgrade recruitment procedures, to change the qualitative composition of the party, to improve the procedures for ensuring routinization and responsiveness in the conduct of party business, and to upgrade the party education system are also documented. Evidence is provided of the party's struggle with corruption in the Georgian Republic and the regime's inability to cope effectively with the widespread growth of social problems. The volume conveys the flavour of oligarchic and bureaucratic politics that emerged with Brezhnev's style of leadership.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 320 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationDonald V. Schwartz is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto.
Subjects and Courses