Purges -- Stalin's Great Blunder Term Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Drama - World Type: Term Paper Paper: #91352177 Related Topics: Gorbachev, Russian Organized Crime, Scholarship, Nazi Germany
Excerpt from Term Paper :

" He concluded that "the prosecutor's office must be centralized and completely independent of the local organs of authority." This conclusion, quite naturally, was buttressed with the appropriate reference to the guiding hand of the revolution's leader: "From the principle that there is a single legality obtaining throughout the Republic "and the entire federation" (Lenin) and from the obligation of the public prosecutor to see to it that no single decision of local authority deviated from the law, Lenin deduced all the most important principles for the organization of the prosecutor's office..." (Vyshinsky, Law, 525). Contrast this with Vyshinsky's admonition of a witness, "Don't pay attention to the laws, just listen to me" (Huskey, "Vyshinsky, Krylenko," 427).

The Soviet people, however, lost a great deal more from their ordeal of the 1930s. Not only did they lose the best of their intelligentsia and military, they ultimately lost the power for informed dissent and political debate. By the end of the 1938 Trial, any semblance of due process and civil rights had been abandoned. Vyshinsky himself declared his support for a simple campaign for the eradication of the opposition: "When it is a question of annihilating the enemy, we can do it just as well without a trial " (Tucker, Cohen).

Conclusions - Stephen Cohen observed with considerable consternation that a scholarly consensus had dominated the study of Stalin and Stalinism in the West, thereby limiting the options for creative research in the field. The limitations were held to be implicit in the continuity thesis, reducing Stalinism to a general phenomenon that was the outgrowth of the Party-regime that preceded it. What meaningful differences existed, Cohen argued, were (to borrow Marxist phraseology) of "quantity" and not "quality." Cohen and other critics of the Cold War "totalitarian school" were certainly correct in pointing out that much of the old scholarship seemed teleologically confined by international politics and a ritual-like preoccupation with the party ideology (Cohen, 2002). It thus often ends up proving what it had assumed in the first place, while failing to recognize both the extraordinary complexity of the subject, and the fact that there were (and continue to be) numerous aspects of Stalinism which developed dynamics specific to their emergence in historical time. Objectively, Stalin used Andrei Vyshinsky and a legal
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Encounter Books.

Hoffman, D., ed. (2002). Stalinism: The Essential Readings. New York: Blackwell.

Huskey, E. (1986). Russian Lawyers and the Soviet State. Princeton University Press.

Lynch, M. (2000). "The Roles of Lenin and Stalin in the Russian Revolution" History

Review. 44 (1): 34+

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Nove, a. (1964), Was Stalin Really Necessary. London: Allen and Unwin.

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Radin, M. (1937). "The Moscow Trials -- a Legal View." Foreign Affairs. 16 (1): 79-81.

Randall, F. (1965). Stalin's Russia -- an Historical Reconsideration. New York: Free


Rayfield, D. (2005). Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for

Him. Random House.

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New York: Vintage Press.

Reiman, M. (1987). The Birth of Stalinism -- the U.S.S.R. On the Eve of the "Second Revolution."

Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Rittersporn, G. (1992). Stalinist Simplications and Soviet Complications: Social Tensions and Political Conflicts in the USSRE, 1933-43. Independent Publishers

____. (1984), "Soviet Officialdom and Political Evolution - Judiciary

Apparatus and Penal Policy in the 1930s," Theory and Society 13 (2): 211-37.

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Reassessment of Stalinism." The Journal of Psychohistory. 35 ('): 34+.

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Gorbachev a Stronger Hand." The New York Times. 5.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Abramovitch, R. (1962). The Soviet Revolution. New York: International Universities


Amba, a. (1952). I Was Stalin's Bodyguard. London: Frederick Mueller.

Armstrong, W., et.al. (2009). World War II: Behind Closed Doors. London: BBC Video.
McFee, G. Holocaust History. 1999. Cited in: http://www.holocaust-

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