UC Economics Professor’s Memoir ‘Instructs, Entertains, Inspires’


Crises and Compassion is such a compelling memoir about an exceptional life! Thank you for sharing that story with Bill and me—and thank you for sharing it with the world by making the great effort to write down your incredible range of experiences.
Especially captivating were the chapters on Russia, UCB, and Africa. Your final description of the students in your freshman seminar and their inexperience in dealing with others face-to-face, collaboratively, is spot on!
And, I learned a bit of economics in the process: a good thing for an English major!’

-Margaret Thomas


A Memoir from World Renown Economics Professor John M Letiche

Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

LETICHE BOOK COVERCrises and Compassion: From Russia to the Golden Gate (Footprints Series) 

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John M. Letiche 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. Following his Kiev childhood and formative years in Depression-era Montreal, he completed a doctorate at the University of Chicago and took up a Rockefeller fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. As a technical advisor to the Economic Commission for Africa he conducted trade talks with both gifted and corrupt heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa, and later shared a working White House dinner with an infamous American president. His half-century-long teaching career at Berkeley included a front row seat for the Free Speech Movement and the most documented student revolt in popular history. Told with humour, insight, and humility, Crises and Compassion moves nimbly among weighty events and meaningful personal history, showing how “civility in intellectual exchange” came to be the guiding principle of a life of monumental experiences (Amazon)


Memoir Traces Economics

Professors’ Climb from

Anti-Semitic Russia to Advisor

of World Leaders

Crisis & Compassion – From Russia to the Golden Gate

From Anti-semitic Russia to the Golden Gate and more motiviational stories

Professor Letiche at home in Berkeley hills with wife, Emily,  in background, circa 2005

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From Anti-Semitic Russia to World Advisor

REVIEWS – 5 Stars of 5

Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

REVIEWS: Crisis & Compassion – From Russia to the Golden Gate

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover

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.


5.0 out of 5 stars Comment by Jeremy Kinsman, February 11, 2011

“Dr. Jack Letiche’s twentieth century journey instructs, entertains, and inspires the reader who will finish the book better off on any account, but above all for the time spent with the life and mind of a great thinker and global citizen.”

Jeremy Kinsman, Canadian Ambassador or High Commissioner in Moscow, Rome, London, and Brussels, and Regents’ Lecturer 2009-10, University of California, Berkele


5.0 out of  5 stars More than Economics – Professor’s Memoir A Real Life Rags to Riches Adventure, March 19, 2014
By Burt Kaufman

What a read! What a Life – and it seems a long way from over for renown Berkeley Economics Professor John Letiche! Now in his mid-90s, Letiche has written his fourteenth book, his fascinating memoir recounting an almost unbelievable journey from a childhood in Russia, rife with anti-semitism, to adviser of world leaders. The book reads almost like an adventure story in its real life drama, including a serendipitous marriage proposal, an eye-opening meeting with President Nixon and, later, historic conferences with the Council on Foreign Relations.
One might expect a book written by an economics professor to be very dry and  technical but this book, written sans ghostwriter, is easily readable for all ages and education levels. Letiche has a very colorful, yet concise writing style.
This is less a tome on economics than a real life story one must read to appreciate. It might even affect your own life.

Crisis & Compassion – From Russia to the Golden Gate

From Anti-semitic Russia to the Golden Gate and more motiviational stories  ,


Sample Chapter One, Contents and Preface

Amazon 5 stars