|BOOK REVIEW CRISES and COMPASSION – From Russia to the Golden Gate
Best Economics Books- Timely Biography in Wake of Russia -Ukraine Crisis
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Crises and Compassion: From Russia to the Golden Gate (Footprints Series)
Bay Area and Berkeley’s own John M. Letiche, now in his mid-90s, started life as Ianik Letichevsky, a citizen of the newly constituted Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The son of a brilliant but dictatorial father and a loving, cultivated mother, he went on to a remarkable career as an accomplished scholar, professor of economics, and adviser to governments.
Letiche, now in his nineties, provides an intriguing look at the changes that have occurred during his lifetime.
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Dr. Letiche provides adventure and thorough analysis of the time in which he lived. His early years in Russia and then in Canada are fascinating for a view of how people were coping with uncertainty and instability in the world. One is drawn into the thinking of a very sensitive child who shows wisdom beyond his years. Of course, the fact that he ended up teaching Economics at UC Berkeley during the sixties makes him seem one of us westerners. He brings a great sense of balance in his evaluation of many African heads of state during a grueling, sometimes dangerous working tour of the country. He showed insight and balance in his analysis of the behavior of the Chancellor of the University during the turbulence of the Free Speech Movement. Guns in Africa, tear gas in Berkeley; there is plenty of action.Dr. Letiche shows generosity of spirit in revealing his personal foibles and skillfully emphasizes the traits that form his own philosophy. What better way to get to know this extraordinary man, other than knocking on his door and having a good listen in conversation with him.
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