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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This policy worked in favor of the big estate owners, the Junkerswho held important political positions in Prussia. What was an advantage in one historical setting can readily become a disadvantage in another. However, in the party ceased to exist after the Austrian Civil War.

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 alexannder information.

A Book of Essays. Portrait of an Exceptional Character. The considerable appeal of the Gerschenkron model derives not only from its logical and consistent ordering of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European experience. Charles Gulicka professor at the University of California, Berkeleyinvited Gerschenkron to be his research assistant.

Many of the essays are still worth reading. There he taught himself languages including, German and Latin. There he was to stay for only five years before moving on to the Federal Reserve Persspective. His knowledge was of vital importance to the Wlexander, because it was during a time when the relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States was a central issue.

After graduation, Gerschenkron got married and had a child. 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.

University of California Press. He accepted, and his backwarfness career really began. Always, too, there were an impressive group of visitors to Cambridge who were invited to speak to the seminar, but never had permanence in its regular activities. Many of his students went on to have productive careers, and a good number of them have attained presidency of the Economic History Association.


He found work in Vienna as a representative for a Belgian motorcycle firm.

Alexander Gerschenkron – Wikipedia

He worked for the firm for three year, but then decided to commit himself to politics, in particular the Social Democrats. Inhe enrolled in the University of Vienna’s school of economics, graduating in Cliometrics was the new terminology.

He did well, advancing to head of the International Section, until the decisive moment came in But the dedication, from the Pirke Avotstates their strong feelings perhaps best of all: This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. While he did explicitly treat Austria as a failed case, it was not a central part of his theoretical structure.

The course was just the introduction. On the other side is the reality of declining international assistance from the already developed North.

So does the case of success in Asia. At Harvard, he led the Economic History Workshop and taught courses on Soviet economics and economic history. Retrieved from ” https: In Germany, the key innovation would be the formation of large banks to provide access to needed capital for industrialization, even as greater Russian backwardness required a larger and more direct state compensatory role.

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

Such unbalanced growth was frequently made feasible through state participation. For others, his approach has often proved a useful starting point for the historical discussion of other parts of the world, such as Henry Rosovsky did with Japan, and others, elsewhere. It is the opening chapter of that volume, and a significant reason that it was recently selected as one of the most influential works of economic history ever published.


Gerschenkron spent twelve months researching and writing to help produce Gulick’s book, Austria: He fled the Bolshevik Revolution with his father inapparently bound for Paris, but wound up in Vienna instead. Born in Odessathen part of the Russian EmpireGerschenkron fled the country during the Russian Civil War in to Austriawhere he attended the University of Viennaearning a doctorate in That book attacked the Junkers for their exploitation of the rest of the German population, and earned him promotion to the rank of Instructor with the opportunity to teach courses.

He married, had a child and took a position representing a Belgian motorcycle firm in Vienna. Retrieved April 18, Ultimately, as well, there are the many developmental failures — rather than only the successes — that now loom larger and attract attention. You do not currently backwardnses access to this article.

CambridgeMassachusettsUnited States.

Alexander Gerschenkron

It was not his direct dissertation supervision that was responsible. Sign In or Create an Account. Related articles in Google Scholar. It rejected the English Industrial Revolution as the normal pattern of industrial development and deprived the original accumulation of capital of its central force in determining subsequent expansion.

I summarize it here in four hypotheses: Hustorical a celebrated article, he found the Gerschenkron effect changing the base year for an index determines the growth rate of the index. Gerschenkron, Alexander Reviewer s: Review of Economics and Statistics. Ashamed, yes; angry, no.

The end of the economic history requirement in was another major disappointment. Fishlow, Albert Project Ten of his students in the mids prepared a Festschrift in his honor. State intervention could, and did, compensate for the inadequate supplies of capital, skilled labor, entrepreneurship and technological capacity encountered in follower countries seeking to modernize.