In this book Paul Craig Roberts and IPE Research Fellow Karen LaFollette contrast the exaggerated capabilities that the CIA and Soviet experts in the West attributed to the Soviet economy with the collapsing Soviet economy. They chronicle the frustrating life of the Soviet producer and Soviet consumer who have scant reward for hard struggle. The effort to organize production by socialist gross output indicators instead of by capitalist prices and profits failed, signaling the end of the socialist era.
"I have studied the USSR quite a bit, but have never come across a book like this. It is basically a collection of illuminating and often entertaining news stories published throughout the 80s in various Soviet newspapers. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is an excellent scholar, and he analyzes the stories through a broader theoretical perspective on markets and central planning. This is relatively light reading and highly recommended, both for the absolute beginner to the USSR and for the more advanced reader. "