Controversially this book argues that the ruling party-state elite in the USSR itself moved to dismantle the old system. Topics discussed include:
* the beginnings of economic decline in 1975
* Gorbachev's efforts to democratize and decentralize
* the complex political battle through which the coalition favouring capitalism took power
* the flaws in economic policies intended to rapidly build capitalism
* the surprising resurgence of Communism.
Research includes interviews with over 50 former Soviet government and Communist party leaders, policy advisors, new private businessmen, trade union leaders and intellectuals.