The Soviet Union: Hurry, Doctor!

Gorbachev is moving too cautiously in dispensing the bitter medicine that the Soviet Union needs. Here is the prescription he must swiftly administer

The image was familiar: Mikhail Gorbachev on another barnstorming journey, surrounded by a sea of citizens. "The point of this trip was to come and see if what we're hearing about your concerns is true," he told workers at the Uralmash plant in Sverdlovsk, in the Soviet Union's industrial heartland. That concern was familiar too: the state of a faltering economy close to collapse and increasingly incapable of delivering goods and services to 287 million citizens.

For the past month, Kremlin officials had promised that a radical strategy for economic modernization would be unveiled as early as May Day. But Gorbachev...

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