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La Perestroika

Harold Perkin, 24 January 1991

The Second Socialist Revolution: An Alternative Soviet Strategy 
by Tatyana Zaslavskaya, translated by Susan Davies.
Tauris, 241 pp., £19.95, February 1990, 1 85043 151 5
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... and inefficiency of Russian agriculture. It attracted the attention of another critical academic, Abel Aganbegyan, now famous as one of the leaders of the radicals on Gorbachev’s flank, who in 1963 recruited her to his Institute of Economics in Novosibirsk, soon to be known as a hotbed of loyal dissent. There, in addition to raising two daughters, she ...

Is the Soviet Union over?

John Lloyd, 27 September 1990

Moving the Mountain: Inside the Perestroika Revolution 
by Abel Aganbegyan, translated by Helen Szamuely.
Bantam, 248 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 593 01818 4
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Gorbachev’s Struggle for Economic Reform: The Soviet Reform Process 
by Anders Aslund.
Pinter, 219 pp., £35, May 1989, 0 86187 008 5
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... since Gorbachev’s election, and is deemed, perhaps even by Gorbachev himself, to have failed. Abel Aganbegyan is himself very much part of the first, failed wave of economic reform. He was of critical importance because, with his then associate Tatyana Zaslavskaya, he produced a series of reports from the Academy of Science’s Siberian division in ...

The Party’s over

John Lloyd, 25 July 1991

... sphere. He had read, and had already accepted intellectually, the reports of such economists as Abel Aganbegyan, whose studies were circulated only among academics and written in a kind of code: but that code said that the Soviet Union was failing. The programme which the Party will put before the seventeen million-plus members of the CPSU in the next ...

The Open Society and its Friends

Christopher Huhne, 25 October 1990

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe 
by Ralf Dahrendorf.
Chatto CounterBlast Special, 154 pp., £5.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3725 8
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... price rises. Services, the most rapidly growing part of most Western economies, stagnated. As Abel Aganbegyan said, in one of the first honest appraisals from within the Soviet Union: ‘In the period 1981-2, there was practically no economic growth. Unprecedented stagnation and crisis occurred, during the period 1979-82, when production of 40 per ...

America comes to the USSR

J. Hoberman: The 1950s’ Soviet Dream, 6 January 2011

Red Plenty: Industry! Progress! Abundance! Inside the 1950s’ Soviet Dream 
by Francis Spufford.
Faber, 434 pp., £16.99, August 2010, 978 0 571 22523 1
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... figure is Kantorovich’s young acolyte Emil Shaidullin (inspired by the Armenian economist Abel Aganbegyan), who comes of age during the Thaw, embraces economic reform – in part as a career move – and is cruelly disillusioned. Sitting pretty in the apparat, Emil is introduced to Kantorovich at a conference where the new mathematically ...

Comrades in Monetarism

John Lloyd, 28 May 1992

... secure Brezhnev’s ear with the argument that Kosygin’s reforms would dilute their power base. Aganbegyan, Gorbachev’s economic adviser, who was associated with Kosygin’s reforms, says in Moving the Mountain that ‘by the early Seventies the authorities had slipped into a kind of administrative hysteria which affected both industry and ...

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