A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 4, 1950

Despite the Iron Curtain and the familiar Soviet passion for secrecy in its affairs, a good deal of news can be gotten out of Russia. But it takes digging. That is why TIME has a "Russian Desk," whose three members spend their time winnowing facts from the Russian chaff. Last week's Background For War story in TIME on Russia's war potential was a good example of the nature of their work.

When Peter Ehlers, Foreign News writer and head of the Russian Desk, was asked last July to prepare this major study of the Russian economy, he turned first to TIME'S own...

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