Leaders of the Irkutsk Province (District) Committee of the RCP(b) – VKP(b): the Experience of Creating a Shared Portrait. Part 2
L. N. Metelkina
The analysis of the status of regional political elites, particularly during the first decades of Soviet power, is often complicated because of lack of necessary data. Thus application of prosopographical research method seems to be forward. Due to method it is possible to make any available biographical information, regardless of its quantity, systematic and uniform. Essentially, prosopographia is the method of arranging incomplete information in such a way that it acquires additional value and reveals regularities, combines not large number of biographies in a quantitative and statistical study comprising all these biographies. Moreover, using this research both firstly introduced into scientific use sources and already published data can be studied. As part of the article prosopographical method became the basis of a study of body of 12 Chairpersons and Executive secretaries of the Irkutsk revolutionary, provincial (district) committees in the 1920s. Comparing the results obtained with regularities deduced by M. E. Moss, W. Fitzpatrick and J. M. Easter of peculiar to regional party leaders in 1920–1930s, it is possible to draw conclusion about their partial applicability to the leaders of the Irkutsk region. In general, the year of birth of the majority of them corresponds to the timeframe 1885–1895, defined as the most representative for the birth of provincial leaders of the period. Social background also confirms the conclusion about prevalence of people coming from petty and the «lower» strata of society among regional leaders in 1920–30. The level of education of the Irkutsk party leaders of the 1920s followed general tendency: more than half of them had secondary education. Only five Irkutsk party leaders were engaged in professional party activity through to 1917. None of the Irkutsk party leaders of the 1920s was in emigration in the pre-revolutionary period, and involved in the events of February and October revolutions of 1917 in Petrograd, which is entirely consistent with Russia-wide pattern. However the fact that it is ethnic Russians that constituted about half of the leaders is not confirmed. Neither the starting date for the calculation of the party experience Irkutsk leaders fits into the displayed pattern of two «peaks» of mass joining the party of the would-be regional leaders coinciding with 1905–06 and 1912–13: a quarter of them had joined the party before 1905, and a third only in 1917 and even later. Contrary to the statement about the prevalence of this trend among the majority of regional leaders by the end of the 1920s, there were no members of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b) among Irkutsk managers at all. The available data let the author come to conclusion that there are a number of aspects that are not analyzed by the above-mentioned researchers, they are place of birth, the repression in pre – and post-revolutionary period etc. Taken together it is possible to create a shared portrait of the head of the Irkutsk province (district) Committee in 1920s.
heads of regional party committees, committeeman, career revolutionaries, prosopographical method, a shared portrait