The Socialized Agriculture of the USSR: Plans and Performance

In This Review

The Socialized Agriculture of the USSR: Plans and Performance

By Naum Jasny
Stanford University Press, 1949
837 pp. $7.50
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This long-awaited study by an outstanding specialist, now a consultant with Stanford University's Food Research Institute, is an extremely searching and detailed analysis of Soviet farming since collectivization. In contrast to the optimistic views of Baykov and Dobb, Mr. Jasny concludes that "socialized agriculture failed to produce either abundantly or cheaply," and that "the total decline in per capita income of the rank-and-file peasant in the decade 1928-38 was equivalent to about 20 percent" In the course of his argument he makes a devastating critique of Soviet crop statistics. Although it is clear that the burden of forced industrialization has lain heavily on the peasants, some reviewers question whether Mr. Jasny's bleak picture, resulting in part from nonrecurrent factors, may not underestimate future possibilities of improvement.