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The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR
  • Author Image
    Chris Miller
  • Publisher Logo
    University of North Carolina Press

The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR

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Key Metrics

  • Chris Miller
  • University of North Carolina Press
  • Paperback
  • 9781469661537
  • 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.6 inches
  • 0.91 pounds
  • History > Russia & the Former Soviet Union
  • English
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Book Description

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.

The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy: Mikhail Gorbachev and the Collapse of the USSR

Author Bio

Chris Miller is Assistant Professor of International History at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He is also Eurasia Research Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is author of The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy and Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia. His articles have been published in academic journals such as Soviet and Post Soviet Review and in popular publications such as The Wall Street Journal. He received his PhD and MA from Yale University and his AB in history from Harvard University.Can Russia Adapt Gas Exports to a Competitive Global Market?

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