Professor Padma Desai

Books and Monographs


Planning for Industrialization - A Study of Indian Industrialization and Trade Policies (with J. Bhagwati)

OECD Development Center,Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970; second printing; paperback edition.




The Bokaro Steel Plant - A Study of Soviet Economic Assistance

Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Company, 1972.


Estimates of Soviet Grain Imports in 1980-85:Alternative Approaches

Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute,February 1981.


Marxism, Central Planning, and the Soviet Economy: Economic Essays in Honor of Alexander Erlich (Editor)

Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1983.

Weather and Grain Yields in the Soviet Union

Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute, 1986.


The Soviet Economy: Problems and Prospects

Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987. Paperback edition, 1990.




Perestroika in Perspective: The Design and Dilemmas of Soviet Reform

Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.Revised paperback edition, 1990.

The Indonesian and Korean translations of the book were published in 1990.



Going Global: Transition from Plan to Market in the World Economy, (Editor)

The MIT Press, December1997. Second Edition in 1999. The Chinese translation of the book appeared in 1999.



Work Without Wages: Russia's Nonpayment Crisis (jointly with Todd Idson)

The MIT Press, December 2000.

Financial Crisis, Contagion, and Containment: From Asia to Argentina

Princeton University Press, 2003. 



Conversations on Russia  

Oxford University Press, 2006  

The book contains my interviews with eminent Russian and Western policy makers among them Yegor Gaidar, Boris Nemtsov, Anatoly Chubais, Sergei Dubinin (the former central bank chairman under whose watch the ruble collapsed), Martin Malia (the distinguished historian), George Soros, Strobe Talbott and Grigory Yavlinsky. The book has an in-depth introduction by me. It was selected by the Financial Times among a few select books as "pick of 2006."

From Financial Crisis to Global Recovery

Columbia University Press, 2011  

"Insightful, far-ranging, and complete, yet still manages to be a lot of fun to read." Robert J. Shiller, Yale University.

BREAKING OUT: An Indian Woman's American Journey

Penguin/Viking India, 2012  

'Deeply felt, yet unsentimental... [This memoir] places an individual life in the context of the worlds it has travelled with a gripping and relentless honesty' Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

BREAKING OUT: An Indian Woman's American Journey

The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England, 2012  

“An extraordinary memoir. Her mind floats over gender and geography to greet and entrance your own.” Amity Shlaes, author of Coolidge and The Forgotten Man.

“Breaking Out is a brave and eloquent account of the complex conditions and compromises that connect our professional lives to our personal commitments. Padma Desai has given us a tale of several cities, many worlds, and a testament to lasting love and companionship.” Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University.

“A fascinating and inspiring narrative, revealing both the personal and professional struggles and triumphs of an extraordinary woman.” —Wendy Doniger, author of The Hindus: An Alternative History.

“Deeply felt, yet unsentimental. . . . [P]laces an individual life in the context of the worlds it has travelled with a gripping and relentless honesty.” —Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 2012 Kyoto Prize recipient.


Penguin Enterprise, November 1, 2014  

'Written nearly a hundred years ago... and edited with love and literary grace by his daughter Padma, who has also written a striking Introduction, [these letters] should fascinate all interested in "close encounters" between India and England in the colonial period... [evoking] memories of an earlier Cambridge that I am sure other Cantabridgians will also savour' Jagdish Bhagwati, economist, and professor (economics, ethics and law), Columbia University.

'[A] treat for serious historians, as well as for those of us with more amateur and perhaps personal interest in the history of Fitzwilliam College' Nicola Padfield, master, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

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