In this comprehensive and latest statistical profile of the membership of the Communist Party during the first half-century of the Soviet regime, Professor Rigby analyzes the history of party recruitment and composition. Since the party makes vital contributions to the performance of several basic tasks within the Soviet political system, the author interprets his data mainly in functional terms. He identifies and evaluates the influence of these functional considerations on recruitment policies and on the changing patterns of membership, and determines the priorities assigned to different functions under changing circumstances. T.H. Rigby is Professor of Political Science, Research School of Social Science, Australian National University. Studies of the Russian Institute, Columbia University.
Originally published in 1968.
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