Volkogonov, Dmitry Antonovich
VOLKOGONOV, DMITRY ANTONOVICH
(1928–1995), Soviet and Russian military and political figure, historian, and philosopher.
Colonel General Volkogonov was born in Chita province, the son of a minor civil servant who was shot in 1937. Without knowledge of his father's true fate, Volkogonov entered military service in 1949 and rose rapidly in rank. As a political officer after 1971, he held various posts within the Soviet Ministry of Defense, eventually becoming deputy chief (1984–1988) of the Main Political Administration.
Although known as an ideological hardliner, Volkogonov's foreign experiences gave rise to grave doubts about the Soviet system. Travels in the Third World taught him that revolutionary leaders sought only cynical advantage from the Soviets. An academic visit to the West convinced him that capitalist societies had produced greater equalities than their supposedly egalitarian socialist counterparts. He was already reading suppressed writers when he learned the truth about his father's death—that he had been executed as an enemy of the people. Hence sprang the desire to expose the truth about Stalin and his times.
Estrangement from the military-political leadership precipitated Volkogonov's transfer to the USSR Institute of Military History. There, while chief from 1988 to 1991, his subordinates' revisionist draft history of the Great Patriotic War, coupled with his growing adherence to democratic ideals and an unorthodox evaluation of the Stalinist legacy, provoked clashes with the Ministry of Defense. Following the Soviet collapse, he served from 1991 to 1995 as security adviser to President Boris Yeltsin, while simultaneously championing democratic causes and chairing several parliamentary commissions as a Duma deputy associated with the Left-Centrist Bloc. Before his turn against Soviet convention, Volkogonov's more significant works, including Marxist-Leninist Teachings about War and the Army (1984) and The Psychology of War (1984) reflected orthodox zeal. However, his subsequent conviction that the Soviet system had been flawed from the beginning permeated his historical works, including a revisionist biography of Stalin, Triumph and Tragedy (1990), and later volumes on Trotsky, Lenin, and other significant early Soviet leaders.
See also: stalin, josef vissarionovich
Menning, Bruce W. (2003). "Of Outcomes Happy and Unhappy." In Adventures in Russian Historical Research, eds. Catherine Freirson and Samuel Baron. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. (1991). Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, tr. and ed. Harold Shukman. New York: Grove Weidenfeld.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. (1994). Lenin: A New Biography, tr. and ed. Harold Shukman. New York: Free Press.
Volkogonov, Dmitri. (1998). Autopsy for an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime, tr. and ed. Harold Shukman. New York: Free Press.
Bruce W. Menning
"Volkogonov, Dmitry Antonovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/volkogonov-dmitry-antonovich
"Volkogonov, Dmitry Antonovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved December 10, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/volkogonov-dmitry-antonovich
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.