Here, Hungarian refugee-turned-millionaire Soros narrates his role in setting up foundations that helped topple Communism, and offers his views on curing the economic chaos new ensuing in the USSR and elsewhere. Ten years ago, having grown wealthy speculating in American markets, Soros started setting up foundations in Communist countries, gambling that he could help bring about ``open societies'' in these closed regimes. The author, who describes himself as a ``stateless statesman'' with the ``image of a man who gets things done,'' had to fight initial suspicions of CIA backing as he nimbly outnegotiated Eastern bloc leaders to keep his foundations independent of government control. He then funded alternative businesses, services, and forums, showing himself more a fox than a ``rich American uncle'' ripe for plucking. Soros sees Communism as fatally flawed and beyond reform since under it ``investments are hopelessly inefficient because capital has no value.'' From this perspective, he has spearheaded attempts to save the Soviet economy from disintegration, most notably the unsuccessful struggle to adopt the Shatalin Plan in the USSR, which would have transferred economic powers to the republics and then delegated them back to a council under the president's authority, thus neatly eclipsing the present central bureaucracy. Soros argues that early Western aid to the USSR would have prevented an unfolding economic tragedy. He concludes with an intriguing new theory of history that incorporates insights from chaos theory and likens revolutions to boom/bust cycles in financial markets. Fascinating but a bit dense with theory.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1991
ISBN: 0-02-930285-4
Page count: 220pp
Publisher: Free Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


NonfictionSOROS ON SOROS by George Soros
by George Soros