What Went Wrong with Perestroika?: The Rise and Fall of Gorbachev

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"Once again, Marshall Goldman has put his finger directly on the problems that hamper reform in the Soviet Union. Anyone who wants to understand Gorbachev's failings, the bureaucratic infighting and built-in reluctance to change will gain insights from this taut, readable book."—Hedrik Smith
A critical analysis of the economic reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, which claims that the Soviet leader did little to counter the nation's overindulgence in heavy industry or to combat a burgeoning budget deficit. The resultant economic collapse, it is argued, led to political disintegration.

As the Soviet economy steadily worsened, Gorbachev's popularity steadily declined, culminating in the August 1991 coup. This updated edition offers an informed assessment of the new Russia that has emerged in the post-Gorbachev era. Goldman is a regular commentator on Good Morning America and National Public Radio.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Recent Soviet events, including the failed August 1991 coup, are given a convincing ipso facto explanation by a noted Harvard economist, who finds the key to Gorbachev's failures in a lethal mix of ideological conservatism, isolation from real conditions, and an attempt to please everyone by including political enemies in his governing coalitions. Whether anyone could have done better is doubtful, Goldman writes, since peaceful change has never come easily to Russian society. Such fatalism aside, the author clearly shows how Gorbachev's economic ``reforms'' succeeded in creating mass confusion and encouraging ``protectionism'' all the way down to the municipal level: so alienating society as to give ``reform'' itself a bad name. A readable and timely introduction for general readers.--Robert Decker, Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393309041
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/17/1992
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 282
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Marshall I. Goldman is associate director of the Russian Research Center at Harvard University. He is the author of several books on the Soviet Union and comparative economic systems.

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