The Industrialization of Soviet Russia: The Soviet Economy in Turmoil, 1929-1930

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While the capitalist world was experiencing The Crash and the beginnings of the Depression, a massive investment program initiated the Soviet Union's transformation from a peasant country to an industrial power. Here is a nearly day-by-day account of the establishment of political institutions only now being challenged by Gorbachev's reforms. Complements the two previous volumes, but is designed to stand on its own. Well-printed (in China) on acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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  • Posted June 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fine study of Soviet industrialisation

    In his Preface, Professor Davies wrote, "I am still convinced that rapid industrialisation was incompatible with the market economy of NEP; the industrial objectives of the leadership required the replacement of NEP by some kind of administrative planning system."

    He pointed out, "In France, Germany and the Soviet Union industrial production approximately recovered to the pre-war level by 1926/27. The Soviet achievement was impressive. The decline in production, and the damage and destruction of industrial plant, had been far greater than in the other belligerent countries. . the rate of growth of Soviet industry in the mid-1920s was already higher and more consistent than in the capitalist countries."

    In August 1928 communists forecast 'tremendous catastrophes'. The 6th Congress of Comintern also foresaw growing contradictions within and between the major capitalist states, an increasing danger of war and intensifying class struggle.

    Davies noted, "Bukharin wanted to restrict industrial development to a level compatible with a market relation with the peasants."

    Davies concluded, "In spite of its major imperfections and defects, Soviet planning achieved notable successes. The outstanding achievement was the astonishing expansion in industrial investment, which was in 1929/30 more than 90 per cent above the level of the previous year, and several times as large as in 1913. With the aid of the increased investment, the building season of 1930 saw the completion of the first three major projects - the Turkish railway, the agricultural machinery factory at Rostov-on-Don, and the Stalingrad tractor factory. Construction of the Dneprostroi hydro-electric plant was reaching its peak. At the Uralmashzavod heavy engineering factory in Sverdlovsk, the main production shops of the greatly expanded project began to be constructed. After many vicissitudes, construction was started at both ends of the grandiose Ural-Kuznetsk combine. The vast construction programme which began the transformation of the USSR into a great industrial power was under way."

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