The task of turning the state-owned assets of the Eastern European countries over to private ownership is one of the most challenging of our time, both intellectually and in practical terms. Ivan Major's in-depth critique of the plans and programmes of the East European governments addresses the core issues of privatization from the perspective of both potential winners and losers. After discussing the analytical framework, he offers an assessment of the legacy of the command economy and includes individual country studies of Czechoslovakia, the former GDR, Hungary, Poland and the former Soviet Union. The following chapters look at the theoretical, political and economic underpinning, as well as assessments of the initial results of East European privatizations. Dr Major argues that the whole network of political regulation must be dismantled if an efficient market economy is to emerge.