In this groundbreaking book, prominent Western and Russian scholars examine the lost transcripts of the Soviet Politburo, a set of verbatim accounts of meetings that took place from the 1920s to 1938 but remained hidden in secret archives until the late 1990s. Never intended for publication or wide distribution, these records (known as stenograms in Russia) reveal the actual process of decision making at the highest levels of the Soviet communist party. The transcripts also provide new, first-hand records of the rise of Stalins dictatorship.The contributors to the volume explore the power struggles among the Politburo members, their methods of discourse and propaganda, and their economic policies. Taken as a whole, the essays shed light on early Soviet history and on the individuals who supported or opposed Stalins consolidation of power.

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