Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays

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Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1962 - Business & Economics - 456 pages

These 14 essays covering a wide range of subjects of great current interest reflect the continuous evolution of the author's thought from 1951 to 1961. Range and flexibility characterize Mr. Gerschenkron's dynamic approach to Europe's industrial history. Connecting evolution in individual countries with their degree of economic backwardness, he presents the industrialization of the continent as a "case of unity in diversity," thus offering a cogent alternative, supported by case studies, to the traditional view of industrialization as monotonous repetition of the same process from country to country. Brought together for the first time, these essays were originally published in specialized periodicals in the United States and abroad.

Explaining and systematizing the elements of creative innovation in industrial history, Mr. Gerschenkron opens new paths of research and poses a number of pertinent questions for the modern problem of economic development in backward countries. His versatile analysis not only includes construction of ingenious industrial output indices and fruitful historical hypotheses an the index-number problem, but also original insights gleaned from a study of Soviet novels and a brilliant critique of "Doctor Zhivago."

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Contents

Economic Development The Transformation of Russian Society C
7
Industrialization
31
Social Attitudes Entrepreneurship and Economic Devel
52
Copyright

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About the author (1962)

The late Alexander Gerschenkron held a degree of Doctor Rerum Politicarum from the University of Vienna. He was Chief of the Foreign Areas Section at the Federal Reserve Board, as well as Walter S. Barker Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic History Workshop, Harvard University.

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