In This Review

The Soviet Economy on the Brink of Reform: Essays in Honor of Alec Nove
The Soviet Economy on the Brink of Reform: Essays in Honor of Alec Nove
Edited by Peter Wiles
Unwin Hyman, 1988, 256 pp
Reorganization and Reform in the Soviet Economy
Reorganization and Reform in the Soviet Economy
Edited by Susan J. Linz and William Moskoff
Sharpe, 1988, 146 pp

Both these volumes look at the Soviet economy at the time of Gorbachev's first burst of reform talk, before his program had really taken shape or passed any major tests. They take up many of the same topics (investment decisions, industrial performance, plan versus market, agriculture) but not always from similar viewpoints. The essays in the Linz-Moskoff book are generally skeptical of the Soviet regime's ability to make the radical changes necessary to rescue the economy. Those in the volume edited by Peter Wiles are more specialized and demonstrate a high level of analysis as well as an understanding of how the Soviet economy works in practice. One especially interesting paper is a critique of the CIA's estimates of the Soviet economy.