qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Animal Farm

Book Review: Red Plenty - Inside the Fifties' Soviet Union, by Francis Spufford
I think this has to be filed under the category of "non-fiction novel". The essence of the story is about central economic planning, its consequences and shortcomings, and it is told through various episodes in which certain of the book's characters' paths cross. The detail is mostly invention, but carefully tuned to fit with known history. There are one or two darker moments, but mostly the book has a levity to it, a sense that many of the characters know they are acting with futility, can often see how things might be improved, but have no options to do change the status quo, and the questions of individuals versus "the system" in particluar strike me as equally applicable to our own place and time.
Tags: books, history
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