The Soviet Union after Brezhnev

By Martin McCauley | Go to book overview

I The Post-Brezhnev Era

Martin McCauley

Leonid Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982, but the announcement of his death was withheld from the Soviet and international public until II November. The same day, a funeral commission was formed headed by Yuri Andropov. This was the first clear sign that Andropov and his supporters were better organised than Konstantin Chernenko and his men. A day later, Andropov was elected Secretary General of the Central Committee ( CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at a special CC plenum. The speed with which Andropov took over was in marked contrast to the slow pace of decision-making during the last years of Brezhnev's rule. However, Andropov, at 68 years of age, is the oldest man ever to have been elected to lead the party and is a full ten years older than Brezhnev was when he assumed party leadership in October 1964.

Does this mean that the new Soviet leadership should be viewed as an interim leadership, one which is unlikely to survive the 1980s? Will the new leaders settle for consensus, or will they attempt solutions to some of the Soviet Union's pressing problems? Is it likely that the younger generation of leaders, held back so frustratingly long by Brezhnev's tenacious hold on power, will now be able to force their way to the forefront? Or will those who feel that a thoroughgoing economic reform, high on the agenda of the new leadership, could imperil their power and privileges be able to render such a reform, and all other changes, void? Will the conflict of generations merely mean a continuation of Brezhnev's policy of muddling through?

It is worth looking at the evolution of the Soviet political system before attempting to analyse the present and see into the future.

When the Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917, a majority of the population was in favour of revolution. It soon became clear that Lenin had different ideas from many of the other Bolshevik leaders, not to mention the population, about which direction the revolution should take. For Lenin, power rested with the proletariat, or working class. The Bolshevik party was its vanguard and therefore had the right to map out the route to socialism. The gulf between the aspirations of the working class, as expressed by party and non-party members alike, and the Bolshevik party leadership widened during the Civil War of 1918— 20, and in 1921, a dismayed Lenin declared that the Russian working class 'had ceased to exist as a proletariat'.

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Soviet Union after Brezhnev
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Soviet Union After Brezhnev *
  • Contents *
  • Maps and Tables *
  • The Contributors *
  • Preface *
  • I the Post-Brezhnev Era *
  • 2 Leadership and the Succession Struggle *
  • 3 Dissent, Opposition and Instability *
  • 4 Soviet Economic Prospects: Can the Soviet Economic System Survive? *
  • 5 Agriculture *
  • 6 Foreign Trade Policy: the Ussr, the West and Eastern Europe as an Eternal Triangle *
  • 7 the Military Build-Up *
  • 8 Soviet-East European Relations *
  • 9 Sino—soviet Relations *
  • 10 is Détente Dead? *
  • References *
  • Index *
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 160

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.