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The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy

Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR

Chris Miller (author)

ISBN: 9781469661537

Publication Date: Aug 2020

Format: Paperback

Also available as: Hardback  

Making use of never-before-studied documents from the Soviet politburo and other archives, Chris Miller argues that the difference between the Soviet Union and China - and the ultimate cause of the Soviet collapse - was not economics but politics.
£29.95

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For half a century the Soviet economy was inefficient but stable. In the late 1980s, to the surprise of nearly everyone, it suddenly collapsed. Why did this happen? And what role did Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's economic reforms play in the country's dissolution? In this groundbreaking study, Chris Miller shows that Gorbachev and his allies tried to learn from the great success story of transitions from socialism to capitalism, Deng Xiaoping's China. Why, then, were efforts to revitalize Soviet socialism so much less successful than in China?

Making use of never-before-studied documents from the Soviet politburo and other archives, Miller argues that the difference between the Soviet Union and China--and the ultimate cause of the Soviet collapse--was not economics but politics. The Soviet government was divided by bitter conflict, and Gorbachev, the ostensible Soviet autocrat, was unable to outmaneuver the interest groups that were threatened by his economic reforms. Miller's analysis settles long-standing debates about the politics and economics of perestroika, transforming our understanding of the causes of the Soviet Union's rapid demise.

Reviews

"Miller helps readers understand why communism survived in China but encountered an abrupt and amazing collapse in the former Soviet Union. Highly recommended."- Choice

"It is a well-researched, fluidly written, and timely book that is sure to leave its mark on the historiography."- H-Diplo

"An important contribution to our understanding of the Sino-Soviet interaction and the forces that led to the demise of the Soviet Union."- The Russian Review

"Using new archival material, Miller demonstrates that Gorbachev was always much weaker than many realized."- Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

"This book is clearly written and forcefully argued."- Slavic Review

"Miller's work goes a great distance in bettering our knowledge and understanding of the politics behind the Soviet economic collapse."- Reviews in History
Pages 264
Dimensions 235 x 155
Date Published 30 Aug 2020
Publisher The University of North Carolina Press
Series The New Cold War History
Subject/s European history   Economic history  
Chris Miller is assistant professor of international history at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-director of the school's Russia and Eurasia Program.

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