COLLISION AND COLLUSION - Review Excerpts
"Very critical and troubling analysis of the shortcomings of Western aid policy, particularly to Russia. The implications of Wedel's critical assessment need to be seriously taken into account."
- Zbigniew Brzezinski,
National Security Adviser to President Carter
"Impressive and informative."
- Foreign Affairs (read review)
"Janine Wedel's admirable new book...argues, convincingly, that the lack of accountability on both sides ultimately compromised all those involved. Today, Mr. Chubais is perhaps the most hated man in Russia-and the favoritism shown him by his Western backers has blackened their reputations among Russians, perhaps irrevocably. Aid, it seems, can hurt as well as help."
- The Wall Street Journal (read review)
"Wedel's probing look at cross-cultural miscommunication demonstrates that Western resolve and the global rush to benefit from the demise of communist rule was costly not only to societies resistant to change, but to the American taxpayer as well."
- The Washington Post (read review)
"A key text in the critics' armory."
- The New York Times Magazine (read review)
"Written engagingly, the book is a tribute to the high caliber of Wedel's journalistic and anthropological abilities alike and a reminder of the need for a re-envisioned and effective anthropology brought to bear on pressing social issues."
-American Ethnologist (read review)
"Anthropologist Janine Wedel argues that the Clinton administration was determined to cast Boris Yeltsin's young reformers as the good guys. This, she says, unwittingly contributed to Russia's current economic mess. The result, Wedel contends, is that American aid to Russia has proved to be "a disaster from beginning to end." Unfortunately, she's largely right."
-Newsweek (read review)
"Wedel's research reveals how little Western "aid" really got to where it was supposed to go and why even much that did failed to help. Wedel's bold, invaluable report is frightening for its revelations and political implications."
- Publishers Weekly (read review)
"Wedel's book should become obligatory reading for anyone contemplating business in Central and Eastern Europe. It is well-documented and exhaustively footnoted."
- The Moscow Times (read review)
"[Janine Wedel] is good at conjuring up the sense of adventure and psychological complexity that ensued as West and East got to know each other up close. She carefully charts the misunderstandings and cultural collisions as Western aid-givers tried to impose their own terms of reference on societies they were usually poorly equipped to understand."
- The Wall Street Journal (read review)
"Wedel's book is an important contribution to a process of critical reflection and analysis that is long overdue...everyone who is studying the transition process in Central and Eastern Europe should read this book."
- Europe-Asia Studies (read review)
"Wedel proves that anthropologists have an important role to play in analyzing and exploring the effects of aid strategies on the relations between donors and recipients and in documenting how aid affects relations on many levels in the recipient counties."
- The Polish Review
"Wedel's (The Private Poland) experience in the Soviet bloc gives her the sociological basis from which to understand the post-Soviet "aid" period. While painting a sympathetic portrait of well-meaning foreign donors, such as USAID and the European Union's PHARE (Poland and Hungary Aid in Restructuring the Economy) programs, she presents the myriad elements that contributed to their failure in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic... Prominent among the culprits were the media darlings of the "Marriott Brigade," consultants who jet-setted about the region, offering homilies and heady capitalist exhortations, then departed safely to the next country before developing concrete solutions."
-Publishers Weekly (read review)
"Janine Wedel... has written an incisive, striking study of the effect of some $32 billion in Western grant aid delivered since 1989 to Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet satellites in East and Central Europe.... Collision and Collusion documents what harm results when aid donors fail to exercise responsible, high-level leadership and oversight."
-Foreign Service Journal (read review)
"This is a book that is bound to have a long-term impact on the practice and politics of foreign aid from the West to non-western economies."
-Selection committee, Grawemeyer Award