4 out of 4 stars
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Hammer & Silicon by Puffer, McCarthy and Satinsky contains enlightening research work that focuses on the contribution of different professionals from the former Soviet Union to the innovation economy in the US.
Through the accounts of one-hundred and fifty-seven (157) interviewees, I began to understand the impact these and many other professionals have had in the US. The book focuses on the three migrations. In Wave One (1972-1986), immigrants composed primarily of Soviet Jews. Wave Two started in 1987 through the 1990s and was mainly caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Third Wave began at the start of the century as Russia became more integrated into the world economy. The book also explores the role played by formal and informal institutions in the former Soviet Union, the differences and the adaptation of immigrants into a foreign business culture, the interviewees’ individual experiences and contributions to the innovation in the US and matters pertaining to their identity.
Hammer & Silicon is well-researched and follows the lives of the professionals not only in the US but also in their former countries. The differences between the two regions in terms of their business practices and their processes of building a professional workforce are clearly seen. The diversity in the content where the authors explore various themes from the interviewees’ personal experiences to the broader topics that include the former Soviet Union’s institutions and way of governance ultimately form a fascinating book with a range of many interesting aspects.
I also liked that the book focused on innovation and how the Soviet Union prepared the immigrants to thrive in sectors that rely heavily on innovation such as medicine, social media, software development and other relevant areas. Many similar books focus on the cultural aspects of immigration and in an age where the term “immigrant” has become the focus of many topics, I think it is important to understand their contribution as far as business and innovation are concerned.
The editing of the book is done professionally and its structure is well-designed. Every topic in each chapter is well-explored and discussions are exhaustive. The personal accounts are interesting to read mainly because they are told from the first person and from the immigrants’ point of view. The use of interviews in the compilation of the book definitely adds to the book’s authentic content.
I rate Hammer & Silicon 4 out of 4 stars. It is an informative read for every reader interested in learning about the contribution of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to the US economy.
Hammer & Silicon
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