First published in 1982, this book explores how Khrushchev and Brezhnev manipulated their policies and personal images as they attempted to consolidate their authority as leader. Central issues of Soviet domestic politics are examined: investment priorities, incentive policy, administrative reform, and political participation. The author rejects the conventional images of Khrushchev as an embattled consumer advocate and decentraliser, and of Brezhnev’s leadership as dull and conservative. He looks at how they dealt with the task of devising programs that combined the post-Stalin elite’s goals of consumer satisfaction and expanded political participation with traditional Soviet values.
Preface; Part One Introduction; 1 Building Authority since Stalin; Part Two The Khrushchev Years; 2 Political Succession and Consumer Satisfaction, 1953-7 3 Political Succession and Administrative Reform, 1953-7 4 Political Succession and Political Participation, 1953-7 5 Khrushchev Ascendant, 1957-60 6 Frustration and Reaction, 1960-4 7 How Strong the Leader?: Khrushchev’s Power over Policy; Part Three The Brezhnev Years; 8 Political succession and Consumer Satisfaction, 1964-8 9 Political Succession and Administrative Reform, 1964-8 10 Political Succession and Political Participation, 1964-8 11 Brezhnev Ascendant, 1968-72 12 Frustration and Reaction, 1972-1975 13 The Twenty-Fifth Party Congress, 1976: Brezhnev’s Authority Challenged 14 Shedding the Skeptics, 1976-81 15 How Strong the Leader?: Brezhnev’s Power over Policy; Part Four Conclusion; 16 Patterns of Leadership since Stalin; Part Five Conclusion; Index