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Vanguard of the RevolutionThe Global Idea of the Communist Party$
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A. James McAdams

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196428.001.0001

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Creating the Leninist Party

Creating the Leninist Party

(p.141) Chapter 5 Creating the Leninist Party
Vanguard of the Revolution

A. James McAdams

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the challenges of creating a ruling party as well as the powerful personalities who were involved in making it. For much of the 1920s, a group of so-called Right Bolsheviks led by Nikolai Bukharin and Joseph Stalin, and largely supported by Lenin before his death, had the upper hand in this endeavor. They pressed for a party with the capacity to lead Soviet Russia out of the turmoil of war and international strife. Another group, composed of left-wing Bolsheviks including Leon Trotsky, Lev Kamenev, and Grigory Zinoviev, favored a militant party that was attentive to the social and economic roots of the revolution and determined to drive the country toward the eventual realization of socialism. By the late 1920s, the Left opposition was soundly defeated. But this was a pyrrhic victory for the advocates of sobriety, especially Bukharin. Once one set of rivals was eliminated, a suddenly uncompromising Stalin turned on his former allies and transformed the party into a rigid organization that was expected to carry out an orchestrated revolution from above.

Keywords:   Leninist Party, ruling party, right-wing Bolsheviks, left-wing Bolsheviks, Bolsheviks, Soviet Russia, Joseph Stalin, Nikolai Bukharin

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