LinkedIn tracking pixel

The Road to Socialism and Back: An Economic History of Poland, 1939–2019

Wed, Sep 27, 2023, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Featuring: Peter J. Boettke, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University

You are cordially invited to attend a VIRTUAL book lecture for

The Road to Socialism and Back: An Economic History of Poland, 1939–2019


Peter J. Boettke, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute
Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University


Wednesday, September 27, 2023
3:00-4:00 PM ET


Virtual Lecture on Teams


The Road to Socialism and Back - Book Cover 2

About the Author

Peter J. Boettke, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, is a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University, the director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center. He received his Ph.D. from George Mason University. Prof. Boettke has developed a robust research program that expands an understanding of how individuals acting through the extended market order can promote freedom and prosperity for society, and how the institutional arrangements shape, reinforce, or inhibit the individual choices that lead to sustained economic development. His most recently published books include F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy; and The Four Pillars of Economic Understanding. Prof. Boettke is the editor of numerous academic journals, including the Review of Austrian Economics and the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, and of the book series, Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society. He has served as President of the Southern Economic Association, the Mont Pelerin Society, the Association of Private Enterprise Education, and the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics.

About the Book

The Road to Socialism and Back: An Economic History of Poland, 1939–2019

For four decades during the latter half of the 20th century, Poland and its people were the subjects of a grand socio-economic experiment. Under the watchful eye of its Soviet masters, the Polish United Workers’ Party transformed the mixed economy of this nation of 35 million into a centrally planned, socialist state (albeit one with an irrepressible black market). Then, in the closing decade of the 20th century, under the leadership of Polish minister of finance Leszek Balcerowicz, the nation was transformed back into a mixed economy.

In this book, we document the results of this experiment. We show that there was a wide chasm between the lofty goals of socialist ideology and the realities of socialism as the Polish people experienced them. We also show that while the transition back from a socialist to a mixed economy was not without its own pain, it did unleash the extraordinary productive power of the Polish people, allowing their standard of living to rise at more than twice the rate of growth that prevailed during the socialist era. The experiences of the Poles, like those of so many behind the Iron Curtain, demonstrate the value of economic freedom, the immiserating consequences of its denial, and the often painful process of regaining lost freedoms.

Read more/Download the book for free

This event is sponsored by the Center for Intermarium Studies and the Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP.

By registering for or attending this event, you signify your agreement to our events policy, which may be found here.

IWP Admissions

Support IWP