This book analyzes the efforts by Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), to transform the relationship between the bureaucratic core of full-time party officials (the 'inner party') and the Communists who manned the Soviet state (the 'outer party'). Jonathan Harris argues that the efforts of party officials, headed by the secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee, to direct members of the 'outer party' were the essence of so-called party leadership of the entire political system, and that Gorbachev's reforms destroyed the basis of this leadership. Finally, Subverting the System shows how orthodox party officials not only directly challenged Gorbachev's definitions but worked vigorously to restore their own authority during the last years of Gorbachev's reign; opposition contributed significantly to the attempted coup against him in 1991.
Subverting the System
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