The Poverty Of Communism

In This Review

The Poverty Of Communism

By Nicholas Eberstadt
Transaction Books, 1988
224 pp. $24.95

Most of the articles brought together here, all previously published in Commentary and elsewhere, are intended to show how badly communist countries (the U.S.S.R., China and Cuba as prime examples) have done in raising living standards and eradicating poverty, as compared both with their own public professions and with the record of noncommunist developing countries. The case is well argued, with full and critical use of available statistics. One of the principal pieces, however, is on a quite different topic: a critique of Seweryn Bialer, both of his career and of his book The Soviet Paradox. It fits Eberstadt's general thought, or bias, that many who write on communist policy and performance are either purveyors or victims of deceit.

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