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This is the first comprehensive account of Soviet transportation to be made available outside the USSR. The text presents an analysis of interpretation between state objectives and the geographic, economic, and other forces shaping the need for transportation in Russia. The author includes continuous annual figures (1928–1940 and 1945–1955) covering most major aspects of transportation activities. These figures are assembled from primary records and carefully checked for their reliability.
The author explores thoroughly such provocative and important questions as: How did Soviet railroads manage to hold up during World War II, contrary to previous Russian experience? What role will the transportation sector play in future Soviet economic growth? In what respects is present-day Soviet railroading more efficient than railroading in the United States?
In summary, the book is a case study in national economic policy, intended to suggest lessons (both positive and negative) for countries wishing to industrialize rapidly, and to clarify the role of transportation (primarily railroads) in fostering past and prospective Soviet economic development.