This book provides a comprehensive account of the structure, conduct, and performance of the centrally planned economies of Eastern Europe, the USSR, Communist China and the Marxist LDCs, looking at 26 nations in all.The author focuses on reform, perhaps the most important issue facing countries such as the USSR, Poland, Hungary, and China. Bureaucracy, soft budget constraints, markets, and the nature of the socialist state are the central
issues that arise in the course of reforming a socialist economy.The first half of the book deals with 'classical socialism' and provides a theoretical summary of the main features of a now closed period of history. The second half deals with the processes of reform and concludes
that the reform of classical socialist systems is doomed to failure as they are unable to renew themselves internally.