This deeply personal book tells the untold story of the significant contributions of technical professionals from the former Soviet Union to the US innovation economy, particularly in the sectors of software, social media, biotechnology, and medicine. Drawing upon in-depth interviews, it channels the voices and stories of more than 150 professionals who emigrated from 11 of the 15 former Soviet republics between the 1970s and 2015, and who currently work in the innovation hubs of Silicon Valley and Boston/Cambridge. Using the social science theories of institutions, imprinting, and identity, the authors analyze the political, social, economic, and educational forces that have characterized Soviet immigration over the past 40 years, showing how the particularities of the Soviet context may have benefited or challenged interviewees' work and social lives. The resulting mosaic of perspectives provides valuable insight into the impact of immigration on US economic development, specifically in high technology and innovation. 'Hammer and Silicon
is a wonderful book that deserves a wide audience. Puffer, McCarthy, and Satinsky have produced an insightful, fascinating account of the many contributions to the US economy made by immigrants from the Soviet Union and post-Soviet states. The story of this diaspora is long overdue. Puffer, McCarthy, and Satinsky tell this story with great nuance and care. Basing their account on more than 150 interview subjects - each with his or her own compelling journey - the authors uncover the tremendous variety of these contributions and provide a useful framework for organizing that variety. Everyone interested in immigration and business, in Russia and the other post-Soviet states, or in the missed opportunities that will result from a more restrictive US approach to attracting talent from around the world will find this a compelling read.' Rawi E. Abdelal, Director, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, Massachusetts and Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School 'The story of the contributions made by professional immigrants from the Soviet Union and their families is often overlooked when thinking about innovation in the US economy over the past half-century. As Puffer, McCarthy and Satinsky demonstrate, this lacuna should be filled. Their book, Hammer and Silicon
, represents an important step towards getting the story the attention it deserves.' Blair A. Ruble, Vice President for Programs and Director of the Urban S
Hammer and Silicon
Introduction; 1. Theoretical foundations: institutions, imprinting, and identity; 2. Soviet political, economic, and social institutions: catalysts for migration; 3. Soviet educational institutions: capability for contribution; 4. Migration from the Former Soviet Union to the US: three waves 1972-2015; 5. Entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and innovativeness: startups in the US; 6. Research, development, and applications in academic and industry settings; 7. Cultural adaptation: challenges and sources of support; 8. Workplace adaptation: developing soft skills; 9. Identity: a constellation of influences; 10. Conclusion: the impact of institutions, identity, and imprinting on the immigration and innovation process.