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Engineering CommunismHow Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley$
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Steven T. Usdin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108743

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108743.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Initiation
Engineering Communism

Steven T. Usdin

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the founding of a city near Moscow to promote research and development of electronic technology. The chapter reveals that Khrushchev approved Staros and Joseph Berg's plan to invest hundreds of millions of rubles to build an entire city on the outskirts of Moscow. The new city was to be devoted to researching and producing a new generation of electronics technology, from integrated circuits to digital computers—a secret Soviet version of the Silicon Valley that was forming about the same time in California. Khrushchev had made it clear that Staros and Berg would be in charge and could rely on the full power of the Soviet state to support the project. They had the freedom to recruit the best and the brightest as well as the authority to cut through the red tape that strangled most Russian efforts to innovate.

Keywords:   Communist Party, defense industry, electronics technology, integrated circuits

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