The New York Review of Books
vol. 48, no. 15
October 4, 2001

Russia: Was There a Better Way? (Excerpt)

Robert Cottrell

"So it should be pointed out that Professor Reddaway was attacking reform in the earliest years of the Yeltsin era when this was still a minority position in the West. The consensus has rallied to his point of view, rather than vice versa.

It has been helped along in that direction by recent works such as Janine Wedel's Collision and Collusion and Anne Williamson's widely read manuscript "Contagion: The Betrayal of Liberty: Russia and the United States in the 1990s."[*] Both are powerfully written, both argue persuasively that Western aid was foolishly committed to reforms and corrupted both the givers and the receivers while doing very little to help the Russian public. Reddaway and Glinski add greatly to the story by way of political and historical detail. They add rather less in advancing the central argument."

* Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe (Palgrave, 2001).
An interview with Ms. Williamson, the story of her manuscript, and a link to other materials can be found at

Full text of the article available in PDF format.

Boris Yeltsin by David Levine

© , Janine Wedel