Soviet Agriculture

Zhores A. Medvedev, Author W. W. Norton & Company $27.5 (464p) ISBN 978-0-393-02472-2
Once the foodbasket of Europe, the Soviet Union is now the world's largest importer of grain and livestock productsyet a staggering 35% of the country's investment budget goes to agriculture, according to Medvedev. The farm system is so illogical that the state pays higher subsidies for good harvests. Under a byzantine centralized government, the mechanization of farming has become a bureaucratic nightmare. Medvedev, the London-based dissident historian and biochemist, sees Soviet agriculture as a social experiment that has failed. Starting with Lenin, successive governments have attacked the farmer's organic and material connection to the land. President Carter's 1980 grain embargo should have forced Soviet leaders to lessen the U.S.S.R.'s dependence on imports; instead, the situation has grown worse each year. Medvedev's engrossing chronicle, a devastating critique, offers valuable suggestions for reforming the system. (November 2)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-393-33523-1
Hardcover - 978-0-03-902472-7
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