Soviet Politics in Stalin’s Last Decade

  • Timothy Dunmore

Abstract

In September 1945 the Soviet Union emerged victorious but battered from its four-year war with Nazi Germany. Stalin’s Russia lost twenty million dead and 128 billion dollars’ worth of industrial capital in the conflict, but its losses were not only physical. In the face of a determined invader Stalin had had to liberalise many aspects of the political system he had built up in the 1930s. In Soviet culture during the war nationalist feelings were allowed to emerge; western influences and even religious sentiments were encouraged in order to spur on the war effort. On the economic front a degree of private enterprise, especially on the part of the collective farm peasantry, had to be encouraged to feed a starving population and army. The central political structures in Stalin’s repressive system, the secret police and the Communist Party, found their roles redefined and the ranks of their membership diluted in wartime. In foreign policy Russia surrounded herself with a series of most unlikely capitalist allies. In terms of both policies and political structures the Soviet system had become markedly more liberal during the war.

Keywords

Timothy 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    R.W. Pethybridge, A History of Post-War Russia (London: Allen & Unwin, 1966) p. 15.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    W.O. McCagg,Jr, Stalin Embattled 1943–48 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1978)Google Scholar
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  4. 3.
    V.S. Dunham, In Stalin’s Time: Middle Class Values in Soviet Fiction (Cambridge UP, 1976).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    S.I. Ploss, Conflict and Decision-Making in Soviet Russia: a Case Study of Agricultural Policy 1953–63 (Princeton UP, 1969) pp. 10–23.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    A. Inkeles, Social Change in Soviet Russia (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1968) ch. 15.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    A.G. Zverev, Zapiski Ministra (Moscow: Politizdat, 1973);Google Scholar
  8. I.G. Erenburg, Post-War Years 1945–54 (London: MacGibbon & Kee, 1966).Google Scholar
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    For example, V.V. Kolotov, Nikolai Alekseevich Voznesenskii (Moscow: Politizdat, 1974).Google Scholar
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    D. Tarschys, “The Soviet Political System: Three Models”, European Journal of Political Science, no. 5, 1977, pp. 287–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 20.
    See C.J. Friedrich and Z.K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1956).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Timothy Dunmore 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Dunmore
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EssexUK

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