Charles Beard's comments on the jacket lead one to expect this to be another Road to Reaction (Finer's answer to Hayek -- and an exciting book). It is not that -- but it does serve a sober and useful purpose. It is a temperate and moderate assessment of kinds of planning, primarily economic and political; it is a statement of the dangers -- and the advantages. The book is an English economist's survey and her examples and illustrations, her ""case work"", is English, which to some extent limits its practical value here. However, it should allay some fears.