Undeniably, the economic progress made by the USSR in the dozen years since Joseph Stalin died has been ""very real""; but in view of needs expectations, and grandiose promises, it has just not been real enough. The ""Achilles' heel"" of course is agriculture. Hence Nikita Khrushchev has abruptly left the scene, and this book has become, in large measure, out of date even before it has been published. Yet, for a brief overall view of the period, especially insofar as the general interested reader is concerned, it would be very hard to beat. Mr. Schwartz is an authority on Soviet economy with few peers, he martials his facts and statistics with easy clarity, and his conclusions are invariably as sound as possible. Beginning with a sufficiently comprehensive review of Stalin's programs in order to show how indelible their effects were, the book devotes a chapter to the Malenkov interlude, then moves on to the ""good years"" (1955-58), the ""disappointing years"" from then on, then an assessment of the economic aspects of Russia's foreign relations, and finally a shrewd consideration of the long-term goals proposed at the last party congress and the presently slim prospects for their realization. One hopes before publication the author will have an opportunity to insert a postscript dealing with the probable policies of the men who so recently took over the reins.