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Lonely Ideas


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An outstanding contribution to the economics of technical progress and to the understanding of Russian history from Peter the Great to Putin. It explains why Russian modernization efforts have repeatedly failed, whereas Silicon Valley has flourished, and what would need to be done to make the modernization of the Russian economy a reality. -- Michael Ellman, Emeritus Professor Amsterdam University Lonely Ideas seeks to explain why Russia and the Soviet Union failed to capitalize on a rich talent pool to become a leading scientific and technical power. Graham's scholarship is excellent -- others have written about the subjects covered in this book but no one has provided the sweeping synthetic vision shown by this author. No other English-language writer has the breadth and depth of knowledge, experience, and insight demonstrated in this book. -- Rochelle G. Ruthchild, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University Lonely Ideas provides a social and institutional explanation for Russia's long history of failed technologies. It asks whether it is ultimately possible for Russia to reform itself sufficiently to become an international player in technological innovation. It is pithy, provocative, and packed with fascinating material on Russia's technological history. It will appeal to both a general and an academic readership. -- Christopher Otter, Department of History, Ohio State University

About the Author

Loren Graham, often described as the leading scholar on Russian science and technology outside that country, is the author of The Ghost of the Executed Engineer and other books. He is Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at MIT and Research Scholar at the Davis Center for Russia and Eurasian Studies at Harvard.


succinct and devastating... It should be required reading in the Kremlin.

-Joshua Lustig, Current History

This short, engaging book will please not only historians of science and technology, who know Graham's work well, but anyone interested in the social and economic conditions favorable to cultivating new, globally competitive industries.

-Chronicle of Higher Education
Lonely Ideas is an excellent, brief overview of the qualified successes and costly failures involved in Russian modernization. It should become the standard volume for introducing lay readers to the growing field fo Russian science and technology studies.-The Russian Review

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