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It is not so easy to take the long view of socioeconomic history when you are participating in a revolution. For that reason, Russian economist Yegor Gaidar put aside an early version of this work to take up a series of government positions--as Minister of Finance and as Boris Yeltsin’s acting Prime Minister--in the early 1990s. In government, Gaidar shepherded Russia through its transition to a market economy after years of socialism. Once out of government, Gaidar turned again to his consideration of Russia’s economic history and long-term economic and political challenges. This book, revised and updated shortly before his death in 2009, is the result.
Gaidar’s account of long-term socioeconomic trends puts his country in historical context and outlines problems faced by Russia (and other developing economies) that more developed countries have already encountered: aging population, migration, evolution of the system of social protection, changes in the armed forces, and balancing stability and flexibility in democratic institutions.
This is not a memoir, but, Gaidar points out, neither is it “written from the position of a man who spent his entire life in a research institute.” Gaidar’s “long view” is inevitably informed and enriched by his experience in government at a watershed moment in history.
About the Author
Yegor Gaidar (1956–2009) was a Russian economist and politician and a key architect of economic reforms in Russia’s transition to a market economy.
—Daniel Treisman, professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles; author of The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev
—Andrei Shleifer, Professor of Economics, Harvard University
—Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems, Columbia University