Was Stalin Really Necessary?
First published in 1964, Was Stalin Really Necessary? is a thought-provoking work which deals with many aspects of the Soviet political economy, planning problems and statistics. Professor Nove starts with an attempt to evaluate the rationality of Stalinism and discusses the possible political consequences of the search for greater economic efficiency, which is followed by a controversial discussion of Kremlinology. The author goes on to analyse the situation of the peasants as reflected in literary journals, then looks at industrial and agricultural problems. There are elaborate statistical surveys of occupational patterns and the purchasing power of wages, followed by an examination of the irrational statistical reflection of irrational economic decisions. Professor Nove's essay on social welfare was, unlike some of his other work, used in the Soviet press as evidence against over-enthusiastic cold-warriors, among whom the author was not always popular. Finally, the author seeks to generalise about the evolution of world communism.
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