This study is an attempt to describe the structure of the Bolshevik Government and to portray the relationship of the citizen to the state in the Soviet Union. It is based on observation and on an extensive study of laws and decrees. Since the author realizes that the laws of the Soviet Union are frequently divergent from the actual state of affairs, he has been careful in drawing conclusions. Legal provisions, however, are apt to prove a snare in other countries besides the Soviet State.
Although this treatise deals largely with legal relationships, yet the realistic point of view has been followed consistently, without, it is hoped, falling into the all-too-common error of creating a purely impressionistic picture. It is said that any study of Soviet Russia is likely to result either in an extremely favorable attitude or in a violent opposition on the part of the student. The writer flatters himself that he has approached this study objectively, has divested himself of ideological bias, and has produced as a whole, an impartial representation of political, social, and legal conditions in Soviet Russia today.
The writer wishes to express his gratitude to the Social Science Research Council for a Grant-in-Aid to finish this study. Thanks are also due to Professors S. N. Harper and Leonard D. White of the University of Chicago for reading most of the book and offering valuable criticism and suggestions. I am under obligation to Miss Margaret Wright for faithful and painstaking secretarial work in connection with the preparation of the manuscript. Needless to say that many persons not mentioned here have been helpful to the writer; however, the author alone is responsible for any mistakes in this study.
The chapters on Municipal Government and Civil Service and the Judiciary are based in part on the writer's articles in the National Municipal Review and The American Political Science Review.
BERTRAM W. MAXWELL.