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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

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Red Plenty

by

Red Plenty Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Spufford cunningly maps out a literary genre of his own . . . Freewheeling and fabulous.” —The Times (London)
 
Strange as it may seem, the gray, oppressive USSR was founded on a fairy tale. It was built on the twentieth-century magic called “the planned economy,” which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late 1950s, the magic seemed to be working. Red Plenty is about that moment in history, and how it came, and how it went away; about the brief era when, under the rash leadership of Khrushchev, the Soviet Union looked forward to a future of rich communists and envious capitalists, when Moscow would out-glitter Manhattan and every Lada would be better engineered than a Porsche. Its about the scientists who did their genuinely brilliant best to make the dream come true, to give the tyranny its happy ending.

Red Plenty is history, its fiction, its as ambitious as Sputnik, as uncompromising as an Aeroflot flight attendant, and as different from what you were expecting as a glass of Soviet champagne.

Review:

"Though the intricacies of Soviet central planning may seem an unlikely topic for a work of historical fiction, Spufford succeeds at distilling the dismal science into a page-turner and using the unconventional vehicles of linear planning, cybernetics, communal agricultural policy, and exposition on the respective merits of Marx and Hayek (buttressed by extensive footnotes) to explore the entire range of human emotion. In his first work of fiction, Spufford (The Child That Books Built) mixes in a lot of fact, interspersing stories of functionaries in the Soviet economy — real, imagined and composites — with brief essays expanding on the topics raised by their plight. In the late 1950s, socialism seemed on the verge of triumph: the Soviet Union was growing faster than the United States, and its leaders expected to overtake the West in material production and provide its people with an unmatched standard of living ('Socialism would have to mimic capitalism's ability to run an industrial revolution, to marshal investment, to build modern life. Socialism would have to compete with capitalism at doing the same things as capitalism'). This is the story of that effort, and its inevitable failure, on a scale as large as a nation and as small as one factory worker. Extensively researched and both convincing and compelling in its idiosyncrasies (despite the author's admission that he speaks no Russian), this genre-bending book surprises in many ways. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Francis Spufford is the author of The Child That Books Built and two other books. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555976040
Author:
Spufford, Francis
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
Russia (pre & post Soviet Union)
Subject:
Russia-General Russian History
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » Leftist Studies
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » World History » Russia

Red Plenty Used Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555976040 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Though the intricacies of Soviet central planning may seem an unlikely topic for a work of historical fiction, Spufford succeeds at distilling the dismal science into a page-turner and using the unconventional vehicles of linear planning, cybernetics, communal agricultural policy, and exposition on the respective merits of Marx and Hayek (buttressed by extensive footnotes) to explore the entire range of human emotion. In his first work of fiction, Spufford (The Child That Books Built) mixes in a lot of fact, interspersing stories of functionaries in the Soviet economy — real, imagined and composites — with brief essays expanding on the topics raised by their plight. In the late 1950s, socialism seemed on the verge of triumph: the Soviet Union was growing faster than the United States, and its leaders expected to overtake the West in material production and provide its people with an unmatched standard of living ('Socialism would have to mimic capitalism's ability to run an industrial revolution, to marshal investment, to build modern life. Socialism would have to compete with capitalism at doing the same things as capitalism'). This is the story of that effort, and its inevitable failure, on a scale as large as a nation and as small as one factory worker. Extensively researched and both convincing and compelling in its idiosyncrasies (despite the author's admission that he speaks no Russian), this genre-bending book surprises in many ways. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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