First published in 1998, this book analyses and reconsiders one of the great economic dramas of Western history, the march to capitalism in Russia, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. The period is from 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when the liberated countries rushed headlong into democracy and capitalism. Special emphasis is on the role, often misunderstood, played by the Western-dominated aid agencies, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They were called in while the Western countries dawdled and made empty promises. They basically financed and guided the transition, their own funds amounting to $50 billion, while issuing free-market strictures in the process. This reflected the supremacy of such ideology in the Thatcher-Reagan era. Russia, in its agony, offers a laboratory for the conflicting claims of free-market theory against a more pragmatic, experimental approach. China's hybrid-capitalism is also analyzed and compared.

chapter 1|19 pages

Russia: Lurching Towards Capitalism

chapter 3|23 pages

The World Bank and Other Aid to Russia

chapter 6|19 pages

Gorbachev’s Economic Reforms

chapter 7|10 pages

Václav Havel: A Principled Dissident

chapter 8|13 pages

Adam Michnik: Choosing Liberalism

chapter 9|21 pages

China in Transition

chapter 10|16 pages

Russia Reconsidered