Cover image for Capitalism Russian-style
Capitalism Russian-style
Gustafson, Thane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvi, 264 pages ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HC340.12 .G87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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For a decade Russia has been dismantling communism and building capitalism. Describing a deeply flawed fledgling market economy, Capitalism Russian-Style provides a progress report on one of the most important economic experiments going on in the world today. It describes Russian achievements in building private banks and companies, stock exchanges, new laws and law courts. It analyzes the role of the mafia, the rise of new financial empires, entrepreneurs and business tycoons, and the shrinking Russian state. Thane Gustafson tells how the Soviet system was dismantled and the new market society was born. He argues that this new society is changing constantly, so that any assessment of success and failure would be premature. Identifying investment as vital to preserving Russia's status as a major industrial power, in his final chapter he examines the prospects for an economic miracle in Russia in the twenty-first century.

Author Notes

Jeanne Achterberg, PhD, (1942-2012) was a professor of psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University) and served as associate professor and director of research in rehabilitation science at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This book nicely complements a recently published account of a would-be American entrepreneur in Russia, Timothy Harper's Moscow Madness (LJ 2/1/99). Both describe the new capitalist order in Russia, Harper through one individual's experiences, Gustafson (government, Georgetown Univ.) in this more wide-ranging and dispassionate study focusing on the painful birth and early years of a distinctive Russian form of capitalism. His is a gloomy tale. Gustafson addresses what went wrong and what the prospects are for improvement. His tone is judicious and his judgments well anchored in an impressive bibliography and an acute knowledge of contemporary Russian realities. In addition to the well-known list of problemsÄcorruption, crime, alienation from the law, massive tax avoidance, collapsing infrastructures, and so forthÄthe author points out the longer-range, more fundamental cause of present difficulty: "the historic inability of state and society to develop a stable and productive partnership." And the prospects? Gustafson hopes for an emerging market society "with all its flaws." This is an important, timely study of a crucial subject, one that can be read profitably by specialist and nonspecialist alike.ÄRobert H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Gustafson, a Georgetown University government professor and Russia hand for a quarter of a century, traces the fascinating path of Russia's economic and governmental transition in the 1990s. He argues that the basic structure of a market economy emerged in that period, even though a heavy Soviet legacy hangs on, creating an unstable, peculiar state between capitalism and socialism. He believes that Russia will continue capitalistic development--although there is a continuing great need for governmental restructuring and for recasting the relationship of the government to the economy and society. Chapters on privatization, securities markets, banking, entrepreneurship, crime, and the rule of law are exceptional in their insight; experts will have some greater disagreements with portions of his chapter on the state dealing with tax policy and fiscal balance. The remarkably readable mix of analysis, data, and anecdotes with which Gustafson builds his arguments throughout makes the book accessible and interesting to a wide readership. Important reading for anyone wanting a clearheaded assessment of the remarkable and fascinating Russian transformation and what might happen in the near future. General readers; upper-division undergraduates and up. J. L. Mikesell; Indiana University-Bloomington

Table of Contents

1 Revolution or 'crony capitalism'?
2 Insider privatization and its consequences
3 Wall Street comes to Moscow
4 The Russian banks come of age
5 No capitalism without capitalists
6 The epidemic of crime
7 Toward the rule of law
8 Beyond coping: the recovery of society
9 The shrinking state and the battle for taxes
10 Conclusion: halfway to market