"Besnik Pula takes another brick off the massive wall of myths surrounding Central and Eastern Europe by kicking off the pedestal the widely shared view that this region's experience with central planning was autarchic and that industrialization was a pure liability for their turn to capitalism. Instead, Pula's superbly well-researched book shows how the socialist states' rich and complex trade, technological, and institutional interactions with the capitalist West's value and supply chains paved the way for their emergence after 1989 as some of the world's most transnationally integrated economies. This is empirically nuanced, theoretically astute, and context sensitive social science at its best."
—Cornel Ban, City, University of London
"This book offers an excellent, well-researched, and highly original analysis. Pula's sophisticated and persuasive argument provides a valuable corrective to studies that overlook or overemphasize the role of socialist legacies in shaping economic reform in Central and Eastern Europe."
—Rudra Sil, University of Pennsylvania
"Abundant with quantitative macroeconomic comparative-historical data, nuanced with numerous qualitative interviews, and addressing some tough issues with answers based on an intimate knowledge of the region and its history, and above all challenging long-held faulty assumptions of the nature and dynamics of socialist states, this book deserves the careful attention of those who are interested in the study of globalization and the evolution of transnational capital in Central and Eastern Europe."–Berch Berberoglu, Social Forces
"Pula offers an original interpretation of economic development both under and after socialism that deserves to be widely read."
—Erik Jones, Survival
"The historical and comparative arguments in this book are very detailed and bolstered by a variety of data tables, graphs, and occasionally regression analyses. ... [T]here are several lessons that should interest even those social scientists not particularly well-versed in post-socialist transformations. The first has already been mentioned: the paradox that those countries most eager to embrace globalization were not necessarily the ones most likely to benefit from it."
–John L. Campbell, Slavic Review
"To be sure, what Pula endeavored to accomplish is enormous and an enormously difficult task. Ultimately, I suggest we appreciate it as an invitation to a more agency- and practice centered economic history, one that starts to give Eastern Europe its due in shaping global economic outcomes."
–Zsuzsa Gille, Contemporary Sociology