The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism

The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism

The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism

The Life and Times of Soviet Socialism

Excerpt

The life and times of Soviet socialism are by no means over. Its legacy -- as context, as historical example, as inspiration for partial restoration -- will continue to have a profound impact in the former Soviet Union in particular and around the world in general. Moreover, the dissolution of the USSR as a geopolitical entity in 1991 has not been accompanied by or, thus far, followed by the successful establishment of a market-driven and western-style democratic society. The former Soviet Union remains in "transition" and "transformation," although to what is not clear. The accomplishments and inadequacies of a 74-year long experiment by the Soviet people will continue to stimulate both academic and non-academic inquisitiveness throughout the world. No matter what happens to the post-Soviet, post-Cold War world, it is unlikely that the effects of that experiment will dissipate quickly or entirely.

This book attempts to provide a comprehensive but reasonably succinct analysis of the Soviet politico-economic system. The Soviet system was initiated under the exigencies of war, revolution, and civil war. Over the course of time, it evolved through several models or stages until its ultimate dissolution in 1991. It is the authors' intent to examine herein the several variants of the Soviet experience with a post-Cold War objectivity and professional integrity. Of course, no claim is made here to the effect that the book provides the final truth on its subject -- readers will judge to what extent that goal has been accomplished.

The authors have benefited enormously from the vast literature on the Soviet politico-economic system. Our special thanks, however, go to prominent authorities in this subject: Alec Nove, Ed Hewett, Stephen Cohen, Moshe Lewin, Archie Brown, Jerry F. Hough, Stephen White, Paul R. Gregory, Robert C. Stuart, Nikolai Shmelev, Vladimir Popov and Abel Aganbegyan.

We wish to thank Jim Ice, Economics Editor, and David Palmer, Production Editor of Greenwood Publishing Group for the interest they have taken in this project and for their editorial assistance. Finally, we thank our family members for their invaluable support throughout the long and arduous period of this project.

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