Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, Alexander Gerschenkron, Cambridge, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Pp. ($ ). Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. By Alexander Gerschenkron. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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InGerschenkron became an American citizen and inhe left the Federal Reserve Board to accept a position as a tenured professor at Harvard University.

Should one seek to enhance the role of central direction backwagdness decision at the expense of decentralization and private determination? Ashamed, yes; angry, no. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This was a period when relationships with the Soviet Union became central to the United States, and when there were few others with his knowledge, interest and immense capacity to immerse himself in any and all information. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. The collection of essays under review, which opens with the backwardness thesis and closes with appendices on industrial development in Italy and Bulgaria with reflections on Soviet literature along the way — has achieved a hallowed acceptance.

Later in life he would pick up languages with ease—Swedish one week, Bulgarian the next.

Alexander Gerschenkron

He usually limited himself to a backwardnesss evaluative comment, and one that either justified further research or implicitly suggested that another topic might be a better eventual choice.


At bacckwardness Berkeley provided a place for him to return, as he did in September Academy of Political Science. Newsletters To join the newsletters or submit a posting go to click here. His early work often pursued the statistical tricks of Soviet planners. There ideas for dissertations were discussed and quantitative techniques evaluated.

Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective — Alexander Gerschenkron | Harvard University Press

After graduation, Gerschenkron got married and had a child. His recruitment techniques were subtle but effective. Apparently disadvantageous initial conditions of access to capital could be overcome through new institutional arrangements.

Ultimately, as well, there are the many developmental historicql — rather than only the successes — that now loom larger and attract attention. His talents were notable and appreciated: Gerschenkron stated that a country such as Russia, backward relative to Britain when it embarked on industrialization, did not go through the same stages.

Success was indicated by proportionally more rapid growth in later developers, signaled by a decisive spurt in industrial expansion. Retrieved 16 April As an example of his geerschenkron with languages, Deirdre McCloskey tells of Gerschenkron’s harsh evaluation of a Russian translation: The essay gave its name to his volume perspectivee essays published by Harvard University Press in Pantheon, his grandson, we know much more about his life than we had previously.

They also obtained a father figure whom they desperately persspective to imitate in their own scholarship and subsequent teaching. Rapid Soviet growth was not constructed on the basis of false statistics, but rather, inappropriate technique.


Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective

A quick measure of his current influence is the almost Google references that turn up with the entry of his name. Ineight years after the Germans were defeated at World War Ithe Junkers started to plot against the forces of democracy.

In it, he advanced the linear stages theory of economic development, which posits that development goes forward in largely determined stages. A fourth and last relevant observation relates to his general intellect. Those specific cases, backwardnezs turn, bolstered his advocacy of a comparative, all-encompassing European structure.

From Habsburg to Hitler. It is likewise anti-Rostovian.

Alexander Gerschenkron – Wikipedia

It predicts that the more “economically backward” a country is, the more we will see:. That accounted for its earlier attention, where the conditional nature of its predictions contrasted strongly with its Marxist and Rostovian alternatives. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. His knowledge was of vital importance to the Board, because it was during a time when the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States was persprctive central issue.

Charles Gulicka professor at the University of California, Berkeleyinvited Gerschenkron to be his research assistant.