In This Review

Hungary: The Rise And Fall Of Feasible Socialism
Hungary: The Rise And Fall Of Feasible Socialism
By Nigel Swain
Verso, 1992, 264 pp

By "feasible socialism" the author means market, as opposed to centrally planned, socialism "with a human face." Originally he intended to explain why the Hungarian version of this model was eminently superior to the Soviet model of a command economy, and what was needed to further enhance it. But then 1989 intervened, and as someone who believed in the system, he was left to explain why, to use his words, "history has turned its back on an attractive and plausible real-world option," why it has closed the door to market socialism. He focuses not merely on the months leading up to the collapse but on the prior decade, and he deals with both politics and economics, though primarily the latter.