[OPE-L:8213] Fwd: new book on class analysis of rise and fall of the USSR

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@stanford.edu)
Date: Wed Dec 18 2002 - 23:15:44 EST

Jerry has already announced this book to OPE-L, but I thought I would 
mention it again as I am sure it would greatly enrich the present 
discussion of state capitalism.
There is also Bob Arnot's book which analyzes the Soviet Union of the 
1970s and 80s from the perspective of class processes and surplus 
labor--Controlling Soviet labour : experimental change from Brezhnev 
to Gorbachev, 1988.
I don't think we have had a serious discussion of either book on OPE-L yet...

                                                             New Book, Fall 2002

Class Theory and History:                                  

Capitalism and Communism in the USSR

Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff

Class Theory and History takes an ambitious and ground-breaking look 
at the entire history of the Soviet Union and presents a new kind of 
analysis of the history of the USSR: examining its birth, evolution, 
and death in class terms. Utilizing the class analytics they have 
developed over the last three decades, Resnick and Wolff formulate 
the most fully developed economic theory of communism now available, 
and use that theory to answer the question: did communism ever exist 
in the USSR and if so, where, why and for how long? Their initial, 
and controversial, conclusion: Soviet industry never established a 
communist class structure. This conclusion then leads to the 
hypothesis that the twentieth century’s defining struggle was not 
between communism in the USSR and capitalism in the United States, 
but rather between their respective state and private capitalisms. 
Combining class theory and Soviet history, the book yields key 
lessons for the future of private capitalism, state capitalism and 

“A very ambitious and interesting book on a very important topic.”

—Howard Sherman, author of Reinventing Marxism

“Using a version of Marx's theory of class to explain the rise and 
fall of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union as evidence for the 
validity of this theory, Resnick and Wolff succeed in providing us 
with an original and fascinating account of both. Whether one agrees 
or disagrees with their results, no future work on either of these 
important subjects will be able to ignore the sheer creative verve 
and intellectual rigor with which they lay out their arguments. Very 
highly recommended.”

—Bertell Ollman, editor of Market Socialism: The Debate Among Socialists

“A stunning achievement! Resnick and Wolff have extended their path 
breaking work in Knowledge and Class to a full-fledged class analysis 
of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. Building on the clearest 
analysis of class in the Marxian tradition, Resnick and Wolff provide 
a comprehensive analysis of the core contradictions in pre-Soviet 
Russia and the Soviet Union. This is a work that all those concerned 
with the Soviet experience, the nature of class, and the 
possibilities of fundamental social change will have to contend with.”

—Victor D. Lippit, editor of Radical Political Economy: Explorations 
in Alternative Economic Analysis

“Class Theory and History both follows in the best Marxian 
tradition's footsteps and develops new important insights.  Building 
upon a notion of class whose pivot is the production and distribution 
of surplus, the authors offer a stimulating and original 
interpretation of the USSR's birth, development, and fall.  This is 
class analysis at its best, a work which, deserves the widest 

—Guglielmo Carchedi author of For Another Europe: A Class Analysis of 
European Economic Integration

Table of Contents:



1.A General Class Theory

2.The Many Forms of Communism


3.A Class Theory of State Capitalism

4. Debates over State Capitalism


5.Class Structures and Tensions Before 1917

6.Revolution, War Communism, and the Aftermath

7. Revolution, Class, and the Soviet Household

8. The New Economic Policies of the 1920s

9.The Transformations of the 1930s

10.Class Contradictions and the Collapse


Published by ROUTLEDGE

                                                             HB ISBN: 
0-415-93317-X $ 85.00 [Can. $128.00]

PB ISBN: 0-415-93318-8 $ 24.95 [Can. $37.95]

To order online:

  in US/Canada: <http://www.routledge-ny.com/>www.routledge-ny.com

elsewhere: <http://www.routledge.com/>www.routledge.com or via email 
at book.orders@tandf.co.uk

Or call  toll free  (credit cards accepted):

U.S.: 1-800-634-7064

                     FAX: 1-800-248-4724

Canada: 877-226-2237

                    FAX 416-299-7531

Everywhere else:  Taylor and Francis Customer Services,


                             Cheriton House, North Way

                             Andover, Hampshire  SP10 5BE

                            United Kingdom                


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