This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book describes several thousands of feet above Siberia when in an attempt to make the Aeroflot flight pass a little more quickly, the two authors fell to talking about how Soviet geography is practised in the West. It provides the reader with the background information necessary to understand our discussion in the second part. The book considers in general terms Soviet ideology, politics and economic structures and development. It deals systematically with regional planning and constraints on regional development, industrial and agricultural location, consumer welfare planning and settlement planning. The book looks at how planning operates at the regional scale, raising mainly questions of economic planning, and ends by examining the workings of planning at the local scale, which is largely physical planning.