Cover: Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military Politics, from Harvard University PressCover: Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority in E-DITION

Russian Research Center Studies 79

Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority

The Structure of Soviet Military Politics

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674497443

Publication Date: 05/18/1979

365 pages


Russian Research Center Studies


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It has been generally assumed by Western observers that there is and has been tension in the military between the party’s political officers and the military commanders… [Colton] argues the contrary thesis that the Military Party Organs for the most part are not in conflict with the regular military staff and command… Professor Colton is able to support his theses with an abundance of evidence… He not only has surveyed all the available military press and some of the party and government press but has made extensive use of the published memoirs by military commanders in World War II… This volume is well worth reading and makes an important contribution in refuting the views of many Western observers on Soviet civil–military relations.—David T. Cattell, Russian Review

Colton’s study is excellent in terms of both content and methodology.—Jonathan Harris, Slavic Review

A fine, scholarly book that will no doubt quickly establish itself as the standard work on the role of the Soviet military as a political actor and as an institution. It is a basic study and a clear historical review, and at the same time it presents an advanced and sophisticated analytical approach to Soviet military politics… The result is a detailed study of the Soviet military that has high comparative value for the examination of military political conduct in general. This is an advanced work.Choice

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