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Practicing StalinismBolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition$
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J. Arch Getty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169294

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169294.001.0001

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Stalin and the Clans I

Stalin and the Clans I

The “King's Men”

(p.182) 6 Stalin and the Clans I
Practicing Stalinism

J. Arch Getty

Yale University Press

The Old Bolshevik notables controlled their provinces with personal patrimonial authority, backed by their revolutionary prestige and well-organized patronage networks. The authority of the regional elite, combined with the locally impervious strength of their machines and their distance from Moscow, gave them considerable independence from the center and from Stalin personally. In the end, the regional clans could only be crushed, in Stalin's unimaginative and primitive view, by the wild onslaught of terror. To carry out collectivization and industrialization, Stalin had previously been forced to cede a lot of power to local provisional barons. But later in the mid-1930s he worked to centralize and reclaim authority. Stalin would show that he was capable of killing a lot of people in his quest for centralized power.

Keywords:   Bolshevik notables, patronage networks, regional elite, Stalin, regional clans, centralized power, mid-1930s

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