For this book a distinguished team of economists and historians—R. W. Davies, Paul R. Gregory, Andrei Markevich, Mikhail Mukhin, Andrei Sokolov, and Mark Harrison—scoured formerly closed Soviet archives to discover how Stalin used rubles to make guns. Focusing on various aspects of the defense industry, a top-secret branch of the Soviet economy, the volume’s contributors uncover new information on the inner workings of Stalin’s dictatorship, military and economic planning, and the industrial organization of the Soviet economy.
Previously unknown details about Stalin’s command system come to light, as do fascinating insights into the relations between Soviet public and private interests. The authors show that defense was at the core of Stalin’s system of rule; single-minded management of the defense sector helped him keep his grip on power.