The transition of power after Brezhnev’s death was quick and smooth. There had been, after all, a lot of time to prepare for it. Whatever behind-the-scenes struggle may have taken place, it was over by the time Brezhnev died. The very next day Yuri V.Andropov was named General Secretary of the Party, nominated by his only serious rival for the position, Brezhnev’s most devoted protégé, Konstantin Chernenko. It is hard to say why Andropov succeeded rather than, say, Chernenko. It may be that he was a little younger, only 68, and more vigorous. It surely had much to do with the fact that he had been head of the KGB for the previous fifteen years. As head of state security he had gained a reputation for strict discipline, hard work (an unusual quality in the 1980s), and incorruptibility (which was downright rare). He was at least partly responsible for the fact that the country, though slipping economically, was not experiencing significant internal turmoil. The dissident movement was negligible; the borders were secure. And it may be that, like the much feared J.Edgar Hoover, Andropov’s extensive files on others’ misbehavior had given him additional leverage.