Courtesy of the terrific weekly newsletter from Benedict Evans, this link to a terrific article about Krushchev’s 1959 visit to IBM in what later became Silicon Valley. This is a good excuse to plug again one of my favourite books, [amazon_link id=”0571225241″ target=”_blank” ]Red Plenty[/amazon_link] by Francis Spufford. The book also has a supplementary website with some fascinating short essays by the author – like this one on ‘plenty’ or (lack of) [amazon_link id=”0691156298″ target=”_blank” ]enoughness[/amazon_link].
Among the many reasons I love [amazon_link id=”0571225233″ target=”_blank” ]Red Plenty[/amazon_link] is that it must be the first time a literary author has been able to describe the formal equivalence between a competitive general equilibrium and a centrally planned economy, as set out in the socialist calculation debate of the 1930s. Anyway, the book starts with Krushchev’s 1959 US visit, although not his admiration of the cornucopia of food and democratic access in the IBM cafeteria in San Jose. It is a gripping read, a true story told with the verve of a novel.
[amazon_image id=”0571225241″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Red Plenty[/amazon_image]