Cars for Comrades by Lewis H. Siegelbaum is reviewed in the August 2008 EH.net by Perry L. Patterson, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University. Here’s an excerpt:
“Cars for Comrades is a richly and eclectically documented volume. In addition to a wealth of archival material, Siegelbaum considers a variety of pop-culture sources, ranging from propaganda posters to literature to the pages of the Soviet car aficionado magazine Behind the Wheel [Za rulëm]. This approach provides a sustained and detailed picture of how cars and trucks fit into the Soviet economy and its cultural mindset, and how this ‘fit’ varied over time. For example, the regime sought early on to popularize car driving via auto rallies, races and exhibitions, but at the same time made very few provisions (roads, service stations, garage space) to make private ownership a ‘consumer-friendly’ proposition. As private cars ultimately became more available, the horror stories associated with such ownership seemed to multiply. This book is replete with tales of bribery on the road and at the gas station, and of owners whose lives came to be consumed by the search for spare parts or by the constant need to prevent the theft of existing parts, such as windshield wiper blades.”
Read the full review here.
Differential Diagnoses: A Comparative History of Health Care Problems and Solutions in the United States and France by Paul V. Dutton is reviewed in the August 2008 EH.net by John Murray, Department of Economics, University of Toledo. Read the review here.