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: The Rise and Fall of the The Soviet Economy: An Economic History of the USSR from 1945
: Hanson Philip
: Routledge
: 2014
: pdf
: 292
: 15 mb
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Why did the Soviet economic system fall apart? Did the economy simply overreach itself through military spending? Was it the centrally-planned character of Soviet socialism that was at fault? Or did a potentially viable mechanism come apart in Gorbachev's clumsy hands? Does its failure mean that true socialism is never economically viable? The economic dimension is at the very heart of the Russian story in the twentieth century. Economic issues were the cornerstone of soviet ideology and the soviet system, and economic issues brought the whole system crashing down in 1989-91. This book is a record of what happened, and it is also an analysis of the failure of Soviet economics as a concept.

"The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy" draws on personal experience and literary sources, including memoirs, as well as available economic data and analyses, to illustrate the reality of everyday life and of economic policy making in the post-war Soviet Union. The author argues that the Soviet economic system was capable of producing economic growth, and did for most of its existence exhibit growth. But it revealed over a time a key weakness compared with capitalism: a systemic inability to cope well with technological change, which doomed the Soviet economy in the long-run. Moreover, 'success' in partially liberalising Soviet society, so that terror receded into the background, reduced the effectiveness of a top-downeconomic system that relied on authority and obedience.
Combining skilful economic, political and social analysis, "The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy" provides a fascinating insight into the decline of the Soviet Union.

Philip Hanson is Emeritus Professor of the Political Economy of Russia and Eastern Europe at The University of Birmingham.












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