This article is devoted to a review of G.I. Khanin’s new book, which presents the author’s assessment of the course and results of the first five-year plan. The article is not a summary of this book, but an attempt to re-think the process of implementing the principles of planning and directive management of the economy and social sphere in Soviet Russia. G.I. Khanin’s book presents and substantiates alternative assessments of the economic development of the country and it shows that the annual plans were not implemented and control figures of the five-year plan as a whole were not achieved contrary to the claims of the states’ leadership. The book concludes that industrialization has a high cost. This review paper explains the high relevance of this book, since the ideas of transition to a mobilization economy and the recreation of a centralized planning system in one form or another to accelerate economic growth and, more broadly, to modernize the economy and society have become widespread in current scientific literature and journalism. Based on the content of the book under discussion, the author of this review paper examines the problem of the correlation between modernization and economic growth. He shows that during the years of the first five-year plan, against a background of significant economic growth and serious efforts to expand education and the network of scientific institutions, the processes of archaization of the society took place as well as new mechanisms of social stratification were formed. The discussed monograph draws an important conclusion that domestic statistics during the first five-year plan falsified not only monetary, but also natural indicators. The book shows that the so-called ten-year plans resulted in the disorganization of economic life, disproportions and, according to G.I. Khanin, the transition from economic fantasy to “bacchanal planning”. The author of the review paper also shows that the historical and economic study of the USSR is far from being completed, and he concludes that quantitative estimates and especially qualitative conclusions need to be adjusted as new information sources are discovered and involved in the scientific turnover, as well as the previously obtained data should be compared and reconsidered.