Underwriting Democracy: Encouraging Free Enterprise and Democratic Reform among the Soviets and in Eastern Europe

Overview

George Soros has done more for open societies than any other private citizen in the world. In Underwriting Democracy he describes his experiences helping to bring about democratic change in Eastern Europe—experiences that are especially relevant now that our country has begun to intervene (though in an entirely different way than Soros) to create functioning democracies. Throughout the 1980s George Soros worked to identify and fund the growing political movements that caused the downfall of Eastern Europe's ...

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Overview

George Soros has done more for open societies than any other private citizen in the world. In Underwriting Democracy he describes his experiences helping to bring about democratic change in Eastern Europe—experiences that are especially relevant now that our country has begun to intervene (though in an entirely different way than Soros) to create functioning democracies. Throughout the 1980s George Soros worked to identify and fund the growing political movements that caused the downfall of Eastern Europe's Communist governments. He established foundations, first in his native Hungary, and then in eight other countries, and used them to finance everything from the installation of previously forbidden copying machines in public libraries to the creation of experimental schools, clubs, and workshops for the support of dissidents. This unprecedented, and brilliant, financial and logistical support helped to bring down the communist regimes in peaceful revolutions across the continent. These are thrilling stories about facing down—and getting past—the Communist party powers in order to change these nations from the inside out.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
During the 18th and 19th centuries, travelers visited Russia to explore that vast, unknown state; they also brought ideas and schemes for building a modern state. Perestroika has attracted a similar breed who bring money to make money, or who bring money to finance ideas to make money. Soros, a self-proclaimed ``confirmed egoist'' with ``potent messianic fantasies,'' is one of these. In this book, he describes his ``work directed at opening up closed societies.'' Soros says any hope of saving the Soviet Union is ``irretrievably lost,'' but that a new equilibrium will soon emerge. His goal is to personally help guide Communist states through a gentle transition to sophisticated, open societies. Soros the messiah needs more humility and less ego to secure the goal he aims for. An optional purchase for general collections.-- John Yurechko, George town Univ., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029302859
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1991
  • Pages: 220

Meet the Author

George Soros heads Soros Fund Management and is the founder of a global network of foundations dedicated to supporting open societies. Known throughout the world both for his financial acumen and for his political engagement, Soros is the author of several bestselling books including The Alchemy of Finance and The Crisis of Global Capitalism. PublicAffairs will publish his new book, The Bubble of American Supremacy, in January 2004.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1 The revolution of 1989
1 Cracking the communist structure 3
2 The collapse of the Soviet system 34
3 Europe as an open system 62
4 America at the crossroads 84
Pt. 2 The unfolding crisis
5 The Shatalin plan 99
6 The outlook for Eastern Europe 118
7 The foundation network 128
8 A personal account 139
Pt. 3 A theoretical framework
9 Philosophical foundations 147
10 A reflexive theory of history 165
11 Open and closed societies 175
12 The boom-bust pattern 222
Conclusion 245
Index 251
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