Talk:Mikhail Suslov

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Good article Mikhail Suslov has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 9, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
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Cleanup[edit]

I don't think that this article may require cleanup Superzohar Star*.svg Talk 17:58, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

The paragraph about an alleged Soviet plot to nuke Honolulu in order to start a US -China nuclear war should be removed. It is based entirely on the book Red Star Rogue. RSR is purported to be history, but does not cite a single identified source for its claim. Moreover the Chinese did not have submarine-based nuclear missile launch platforms in 1968, so the premise that such an attack would be blamed on the Chinese is faulty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.52.84.126 (talk) 10:05, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Surkov[edit]

I removed a "see also" link to Vladislav Surkov. It is true that they are both dubbed "Grey Cardinals", but this article must demonstrate a clearer comparison between the two, except the nickname. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 09:07, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Ruthlessness in Lithuania[edit]

I removed this claim:

In part because of his ruthlessness in Lithuania, in 1946 Stalin gave him a seat on the Orgburo

This is a serious claim that must be specifically cited. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:04, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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This review is transcluded from Talk:Mikhail Suslov/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Liveste (talkedits) 02:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I'll assess the article against the GA criteria by the end of today. I've already read through it once and so far I haven't found any major issues. Cheers. Liveste (talkedits) 02:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

My apologies for the delayed review. I haven't had online access to the references before today, so all other concerns will be listed first. References will be reviewed within one or two days. Cheers. Liveste (talkedits) 02:55, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    Generally well-written and engaging prose. Only minor fixes needed (but quite a few of them), outlined below by section (all addressed):
    Lead
    • Done "...evolving into one of the many Soviet politicians" → "...becoming one of the many Soviet politicians". Also specify in the article body that there were "many" politicians involved, perhaps in the "Stalin's protégé" section (unless this is common knowledge).
    Early years and career
    • Done "It is said that Suslov was involved with setting up several show trials, and contributed to the Party[3] by expelling all members deviating from the Party, meaning Trotskyists, Zinoviests, and other left-wing deviationists."
    1. Done "deviating from the Party" — Does this mean deviating from Party ideology or taking part in counter-Party activities? Also, try to remove two uses of the word "Party" in the same clause (or make it less apparent).
    2. Done Zinoviests → Zinovievists?
    Wartime activities
    • Done"During the Eastern Front (Great Patriotic War)," — This has been brought up in previous GANs, but please specify that this relates to WWII, for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the topic. And since both "Eastern Front" and "Great Patriotic War" both refer to the Soviet Union's involvement in WWII, there is no real need to use both terms here. Alternatively, you could say something like: "During the Eastern Front (also known as the "Great Patriotic War") in World War II,".
    Stalin's protégé
    • Done"Suslov commanded the full confidence of Stalin ..." — Is "commanded" the right word here? It seems to put Suslov in a dominant position.
    • Done This hasn't been addressed. "Commanded" seems inappropriate here, since Stalin was Suslov's superior. Perhaps "earned" or "had" would be better. If not, please explain why "commanded" is used.
    • Done"secret heir ... educated guess" — Two whole sentences for an educated guess? Perhaps delete the second sentence, since it's implied in the first one through the word "speculates".
    • Done"...Suslov was elected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. He was promoted to the Presidium (later known as the Politburo) in 1952..." — I wasn't sure what this meant, and I couldn't figure it out from the two links. Are there two different Presidiums? Or just one, in which case do you have to be "elected" first before being "promoted"? Or are two different organisations meant?
    Khrushchev era
    • Done"Khrushchev made a famous Secret Speech" → "Khrushchev delivered the famous Secret Speech", unless there is more than one.
    • Done"In a socialist society, cooperative ownership of property was considered a "lower" form of public ownership than state ownership. Khrushchev's proposal to expand the "lower" form of an economic organisation whose ultimate elimination was the objective of communist society ran contrary to the Marxist theory as interpreted by Stalin." — Slightly ambiguous. Which is meant to happen in communist society: the elimination of the "lower" form of organisation (viz., cooperative ownership), or the elimination of an (entire) economic organisation? I suspect the former, in which case some slight rewording is required: "Khrushchev's proposal to expand the "lower" form of economic organisation, the ultimate elimination of which was the objective of communist society, ran contrary to the Marxist theory as interpreted by Stalin".
    • Done"Suslov, on the other hand" — What's being contrasted here?
    • Done"rapid and uncontrolled de-Stalinisation" — Was it really uncontrolled? This seems counterintuitive to me (how can a policy enactment be uncontrolled?). However, the source does say "rapid and uncontrolled", so I won't object.
    • Done"Suslov became the leader of the opposition" — Is this like a formal opposition party (or at least a faction), or was this a less formal group like the Anti-Party Group?
    • Done"Khrushchev's position was greatly weakened after the failure of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Suslov's power greatly increased. However, Suslov became seriously ill during his trip to the People's Republic of China in 1963, and therefore he was unable to mount the opposition against Khrushchev in 1964. The opposition was instead led by Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin." — There's a bit of a leap here that could probably be bridged with some reorganisation. For example: "...and Suslov's power greatly increased. A campaign to oust Khrushchev from office was initiated in 1964. Although leader of the opposition, Suslov had fallen seriously ill during his trip to the People's Republic of China the previous year; instead, the opposition was led by Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin."
    Brezhnev era – Collective leadership
    • Done"Suslov ... voted against Soviet military intervention in the People's Republic of Hungary in 1956..." — The earlier "Krushchev era" section mentions that "Suslov became a strong supporter of the decision to intervene in Hungary militarily". Were these two different interventions? If so, please specify the earlier one that Suslov supported. If not, then these two sentences appear to contradict each other, unless he voted against something that he strongly supported (in which case, please explain why).
    • Thanks for the added info, but it's still a bit confusing. I did some reading on the subject to try to better understand what happened in Hungary. From what I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong), Suslov and Mikoyan initially recommended non-intervention in their report to the Presidium on 30 October 1956. The Presidium initially agreed, but one day later the Presidium changed its mind and decided to proceed with military intervention. Suslov subsequently supported the Presidium's decision, if mainly to see the Hungarian government leadership replaced. If this is the case (if not, please clarify), then I'd suggest something along the lines of the following:
      1. Done Change the Khrushchev era sentence to "Despite his initial reservations, Suslov eventually supported the Presidium's decision to intervene in Hungary militarily and replace the counterrevolutionary government's leadership there."
      2. Done Change the Collective leadership sentence to "...but voted against Soviet military intervention in both the People's Republic of Hungary in 1956 (initially), and in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1968."
    • Done"His wife, Yelizaveta Alexandrovna, died in September 1972 after a long and grave illness." — This could be a bit of a surprise to readers if they don't scan the entire infobox first. Perhaps mention earlier in the article body that he got married (and when), along with his children.
    • Done"single official-party-approved natural science versions" → "single, Party-approved natural science versions". Also, why "single"? Were there multiple Party-approved versions?
    Brezhnev era – Later life and death
    • Done"Suslov had a coronary" — There is more than one coronary disease (link target should be changed in sentence). Please specify which one. Also, perhaps add "himself" after Suslov to better connect it with the previous sentence.
    • Please specify what type of coronary event Suslov suffered, if you can. The cited source doesn't specify which specific event he suffered, but it's confusing nonetheless. At the very least, change [[coronary]] to [[coronary disease|coronary]].
    • Done I have no clue what kind of coronary he had, and I'm unable to find any sources confirming what kind of coronary he had. I've added the "coronary disease" link. --TIAYN (talk) 12:27, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Fair enough. The wikilink change should be sufficient. Liveste (talkedits) 13:10, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    Layout is fine; "fiction" and "lists" are not applicable. Other concerns are listed below (all addressed):
    Lead
    • Done "He served ... as Chief Ideologue of the Party" — The "Collective leadership" section mentions that the role was unofficial. Please specify this in the lead.
    • Done "Born ... to a poor Russian peasant family" — This isn't mentioned in the article body; please add, with citation.
    • Done "His death on 25 January 1982 sparked a power struggle..." — The "Later life and death" section mentions that "His death is viewed by some as starting the battle to succeed Brezhnev...". The lead shouldn't sound more certain than the article body does on this point.
    Words to watch
    • Done (#Early years and career): "It is said that Suslov was involved with setting up several show trials" – Said by whom?
    • Done Thanks for rewording, but the replacement "Some historians" description isn't explicitly supported by the source. If anything, the source merely indicates that the (rather opinionated) author, Yuri Druzhnikov, himself advocates this notion. Either replace "Some historians" with something like "Author Yuri Druizhnikov contends that Suslov was involved with ...", or else add a couple more cites from other authors who agree with his contention.
    • Nope Also, is any of the information in this sentence (or adjoining ones) related to the Great Purge, the Purges of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and/or the Moscow show trials? If so, the relevant words should definitely be wikilinked.
    • Done (#Khrushchev era): "fiercely independent Zhukov" sounds like WP:PUFFERY, unless it's supported by a majority of sources.
    • Done (#Bruzhnev era – Later life and death): "His death is viewed by some..." – By whom? Some historians?
    OPTIONAL – MOS:CONSISTENCY, WP:ENGVAR
    • Done The article appears to be written in British English, which allows either "-ise" or "-ize" spellings. However, for this article one spelling should be chosen and used consistently. There are examples of both "-ise" and "-ize" being used in the article. Technically the spellings are "correct": this is more of a MOS:CONSISTENCY issue. A related WP:ENGVAR concern is that one of the proper nouns, Minister of Defense, is written (twice) in American English. Either change it to British English, or if the name is properly written in American English (which is done in some countries – e.g., Japan), then the rest of the article should be converted to American English. Both MOS:CONSISTENCY and WP:ENGVAR fall outside the scope of a GA review, so these recommendations are optional.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    Complies with MOS.
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    Well referenced. A few issues are outlined below:
    • Optional: The entire first paragraph of "Early years and career" section could be cited at the end by Refs #1 and #2.
    • Done Ref #3 (Druzhnikov 1997, p. 62): The citation should be moved to just after "show trials,". It doesn't mention "contributing" to the Party (which should probably be removed). See also the Words to watch criterion above.
    • Done Ref #14 (Brown 2009, p. 285): Source doesn't mention that Suslov was a "strong" supporter of military intervention in Hungary – see the relevant discussion in the Prose quality section above.
    • Done Ref #26 (Law 1975, p. 160): The anti-Khrushchev information is not mentioned on this page. But it is mentioned on p. 210 (Ref #27).
    • Done Ref #32b (Schmidt-Häuer 1986, p. 78): Source doesn't say "several" historians. See the advice given for the abovementioned Words to watch criterion.
    C. No original research:
    No OR concerns.
    WP:PARAPHRASE
    Several sentences in this article have been very closely paraphrased from the sources that support them (listed below). Please either summarise these sentences in your own words (most preferred), add in-text attributions, or use direct quotations.
    1. Done "Suslov, as the probable editor of Stalin's economic opus, saw Khrushchev's proposal as unacceptable on theoretical grounds."
      • (Petroff 1988, p. 111) ... Suslov, as the probable editor of Stalin's economic opus, found Khrushchev's proposal also unacceptable on theoretical grounds.
    2. Done "In a Supreme Soviet election speech in March 1958, Suslov avoided recognising the theoretical significance of Khrushchev's reform, praising the sale of the MTS equipment only as a "practical" measure to increase productivity. Unlike the rest of the Party leaders who participated in the discussion, Suslov also conspicuously refrained from mentioning Khrushchev as the initiator of the MTS reform."
      • (Petroff 1988, p. 112) In a Supreme Soviet election speech in March, Suslov refused to recognize the theoretical significance of Khrushchev's reform, praising the sale of the MTS equipment only as a "practical" measure to increase productivity. Unlike the rest of the Party leaders who participated in the discussion, Suslov also conspicuously refrained from mentioning Khrushchev as the initiator of the MTS reform.
    3. Done "Countering Khrushchev's assertion that the Soviet Union was moving from socialism to the higher stage of "communist" development, Suslov cautiously demonstrated that Khrushchev's view of "transition from Socialism to Communism" was flawed, and that it was not approved by the Party. To belittle Khrushchev's optimistic assertion that the Soviet Union would soon reach full communism Suslov deferred to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, emphasizing:"
      • (Petroff 1988, p. 115) Countering Khrushchev's assertion that the USSR was moving from "socialism" to the higher stage of "communist" development, Suslov cautiously demonstrated that Khrushchev's view of "transition from socialism to communism" was seriously flawed, and that it did not have the official stamp of Party approval. To belittle Khrushchev's optimistic assertion that the Soviet Union was moving toward full communism and would soon reach it, Suslov deferred to Marx and Lenin, emphasizing that:
    4. Done "On the domestic front, Suslov was opposed to Khrushchev's policy of rapid and uncontrolled de-Stalinisation and his economic decentralization policy."
      • (Petroff 1988, p. 117) On the domestic arena, Suslov was opposed to Khrushchev's policy of rapid and uncontrolled de-Stalinization, his views on economic decentralization...
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    No major omissions.
    B. Focused:
    Balanced; elaborates some topics without giving undue weight to them.
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
    No NPOV concerns.
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
    Article is stable with no recent disputes.
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    • Sorry, I should have been more specific. The file's licensing information needs to be clarified. Which (if any) of the more recent PD templates applies to this file?
    • I have no clue, I removed it all together (I think it's copyrighted). --TIAYN (talk) 12:27, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    Suitable images provided; non-infobox image has caption.
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    Mostly minor fixes needed thus far. After completing a refcheck, I'll place the GAN on hold for one week while the abovementioned issues are addressed. I'll also check the article again to see if I've missed anything before making a final assessment. Cheers. Liveste (talkedits) 02:55, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
    Update: Refcheck completed (as much as I was able to). I'm placing the GAN on hold for seven days while the remaining issues are addressed. I'm not too concerned with a rigid timeframe, so let me know if you need more time. Once the above issues are dealt with, I'll run through the article one more time: if all checks out, then given the overall quality of the article I'm inclined to pass the nomination. Cheers again. Liveste (talkedits) 11:37, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    Thanks for going through the issues raised. I'm going through one final check of the article now. If I find any major concerns I'll list them below this section. Liveste (talkedits) 13:10, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
    Passed GAN. Liveste (talkedits) 21:13, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Final checks YesY
  1. Done (Personal life): "... ignored her physicians recommendations." — How many physicians? One ("physician's") or more than one ("physicians' ")?
  2. Done Another paraphrase problem: (Krushchev era) "In Suslov's ideological report on 16 February, he carefully inventoried the principal negative effects of Stalin's cult of personality:"
    • (Petroff 1988, p. 84) "In his ideological report on February 16, Suslov carefully inventoried the principal negative effects of Stalin's practice of "the cult of personality."