Ed A Hewett Book Prize


Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mention: Sean McMeekin
Title: History’s Greatest Heist: The Looting of Russia by the Bolsheviks (Yale University Press)

The economic history of Russia’s revolution and civil war tends to take for granted the Bolshevik nationalization of the “commanding heights” of industry and banking. Less attention has been paid to the expropriation of Russia’s upper and middle classes. Sean McMeekin fills this gap with a powerful narrative of bank robbery and burglary, and an account of the economic and social consequences of these actions. History’s Greatest Heist uncovers a wealth of previously unknown information on how the Bolsheviks financed their operations. This well-researched book provides an object lesson in the ruination of economic and social values that results from confiscation: the loss to Russian society was far greater than the gain to the Bolsheviks.

Honorable Mention: Grigore Pop-Eleches
Title: From Economic Crisis to Reform: IMF Programs in Latin America and Eastern Europe (Princeton University Press)

From Economic Crisis to Reform is a fascinating contribution to the political economy of crisis adjustment in emerging economies. It compares the impact and implementation of IMF crisis adjustment programs in Latin America in the Cold War and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Grigore Pop-Eleches has combined theory with econometrics and case studies to produce a work of unusual breadth and depth. Among the findings are that economic crisis tended to sharpen domestic partisanship in Latin America in the Cold War, while softening it in Eastern Europe in the post- Soviet transition; debtor interests were less important in East European crisis adjustment than they were previously in Latin America. A substantive work of political economy, From Economic Crisis to Reform deftly utilizes the contrasting experiences of Latin America and Eastern Europe to illuminate broader lessons of IMF engagement applicable to all regions.

Winner: Keith A. Darden