Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Plenty

"This is not a novel. It has too much to explain, to be one of those. But it is not a history either, for it does its explaining in the form of a story; only the story is the story of an idea, first of all, and only afterwards, glimpsed through the chinks of the idea's fate, the story of the people involved." (The opening words)

Thus fictionalised fact, or an historical novel? Both it seems. Whatever, it a fascinating read about whether the central planned command economy would match the private enterprise, (reasonably) free market in terms of results. Clearly it never did, but was it ever likely to? In the late 1950s Soviet Union apparently, that seemed to be the case, briefly. This book, with its extensive notes, should interest political historians.

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