'J. Arch Getty'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2017.09.25 J. Arch Getty, Origins of the Great Purges (CUP, 1985)
독서/USSR2017. 9. 25. 01:43

Introduction: the Great Purges as history


Each says something about the nature of the world, and, though individually he adds little or nothing to our understanding of it, still from the combination of all something considerable is accomplished. - Aristotle

There are a number of speculations as to why Stalin carried out this bloody operation. Fainsod; Isaac Deutscher; Brzezinski etc. ... Both versions assume that the party (and police) bureaucracies were efficient and obedient ... In its investigation of the structure of the Bolshevik Party in the thirties, this study questions the applicability of the totalitarian model (2-3)

Rethinking Stalinism: A weak tradition of source criticism and a developing historiography on related problems both suggest the need to reevaluate the thirties. ... Personal accounts are valuable sources and provide vivid descriptions of the experiences and psychological impact of events of the persons who wrote them ... Yet historians have been justifiably skeptical of memoirs and autobiographies. ... The inaccessibility of archival sources on the Great Purges has led to a willing suspension of disbelief and to something less than rigorous methodology. (4-5)

This study examines the structure, organization, composition, and evolution of the Soviet Communist Party from 1933 to 1939. ... [T]he focus is the relationship between central and peripheral party organizations. ... The findings suggest that the party in the 1930s was inefficient, fragmented, and split several ways by internal factional conflict. ... Indeed, all the political events of the thirties were not parts of the same phenomenon, and it is a basic assumption of the study that an analysis of the party's structure can help avoid such reductionist fallacies. ... Although he was certainly the most authoritative political actor of the period, speculations on his mental state, private attitudes, and prejudices are baseless, given the lack of primary evidence on these matters. ... Accordingly, the work is not an exhaustive history of the Great Purges, for only access to Soviet political archives will allow historians to write definitive works on the event. (6-7)

Primary sources: 1) archival material from the Smolensk Archive, a collection of Communist Party records from the Western Region (oblast') from before the 1917 Revolution to about 1939. ... 2) printed documents, published speeches, decisions, resolutions, and so forth. ... A careful reading of party decisions alone has shown interesting conflicts and even divergent points of view within the Stalinist leadership at the time of the Great Purges. ... [A]lthough Soviet documents are often devilishly selective and full of omissions, they are important indicators of what the leaders believed to be problems and of what they wanted done - considerations of no little importance in such a mystery story. (7-8)

Nothing in the following pages is meant to minimize, justify, or excuse the terror, notwithstanding the terminology and rhetoric that close reliance on contemporaneous texts forces one to use. Certainly, any attempt to excuse such violence would be pointless and morally bizarre. ... Although the moral questions seem clear, the historical ones do not. If it were enough to fix guilt or blame, there would be no reason for any historical research. To ever understand why something happened, it is first of all necessary to know what happened. (8-9)

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