Stowe Book Aids
A century and a half ago New England writer Harriet Beecher Stowe stirred abolitionist sympathy with her novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Now a Sam Houston State University professor, who also happens to be her great-great grandson, has his own cause.
Charles R. B. Stowe, left, presents a copy of his new book to Dean Ryc, Warsaw University School of Management.
Charles R. B. Stowe, professor of general business and finance, has authored his first commercial book - "The Implications of Foreign Financial Institutions on Poland's Emerging Entrepreneurial Economy." His book won't be performed on stage, as his ancestor's was, but it could be important in helping former Soviet Union countries establish free market economies.
"Harriet Beecher Stowe was a deeply religious woman who actively campaigned for an end to slavery," said Stowe. "She not only wrote 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' but participated in the 'underground railroad' that helped black people escape slavery. She was clearly motivated by her Christian beliefs and her conviction that slavery was a morally offensive institution.
"I suppose the only parallel is that we are both people of conviction. Hopefully my first book will not result in stirring people to armed conflict, but in helping economists and public policy makers understand the role of foreign financial institutions in promoting economic development."
Professor Stowe's book is actually the dissertation he produced en route to becoming the first United States citizen to earn a doctor of philosophy degree from the Warsaw University School of Management. His research was the first comprehensive history of the entry and role of foreign banks and venture capital companies into Poland, and an analysis of the effect of foreign institutions on the development of Poland's entrepreneurial economy.
"The only thing propping up a failed economic system in Poland was military might," said Stowe. "When Ronald Reagan boldly denied the former USSR from continuing their bluff of military superiority, the breakup of the empire was inevitable.
"In terms of Poland's role, they were the first and maybe the catalyst for the yearning for independence. The real story of Poland's liberation involves the Pope, Lech Walesa, American labor unions, and a large group of very well-educated Polish professors who understood the basic principles of free market economy.
"Together, this group forged a solidarity - an effective political party with a plan. Even though the Poles have frequent changes of governments, they change personalities and not policies. Today, there is more consensus on military, political and economic policies in Poland than there is among the two major political parties in America."
A key point of Stowe's book, he said, is that intellectual and not financial capital is the foundation for a strong economy.
"Russia, for example, has received billions from the International Monetary Fund and big corporations," said Stowe. "But, their economy is in shambles. They simply lacked intellectual capital to make the system work. Unfortunately, too many at the highest levels of government equate capitalism with theft. Money is pouring out of Russia into secret foreign bank accounts. The country is being looted by its leadership."
Stowe's Polish connection goes back to 1994, when he was recalled to active duty as a captain in the United States Navy. His assignment was to serve as senior military adviser and team chief of the U. S. military contact team working for the Polish Ministry of Defense in coordinating U. S.-Polish military cooperation and exchanges.
When United States Ambassador to Poland Nicholas Rey learned that Stowe teaches entrepreneurship and business courses, he asked him to give lectures on business development at Polish universities, in addition to his military assignment.
Stowe's military work helped fashion military strategies and training programs leading to Poland's entry into NATO. His lectures led to research and participation in the program in the Warsaw University School of Management that led to his unique degree.
Charles R. B. Stowe, center, displays his diploma from Warsaw University. Congratulating him on becoming the first American to earn a Ph. D. from Warsaw University were United States Ambassador to Poland Dan Fried (left) and Stowe's sponsor, Prof. Dr. Hab. Stefan Kwiatkowski.
On Jan. 18 Stowe was among 25 others who received doctor of philosophy degrees in a solemn ceremony in the highly ornate university senate chambers. The university's rector, who is equivalent to a university president in the United States, presided at the ceremony and hosted the graduates for a champagne reception in his office.
Later that day Stowe also met with United States Ambassador Daniel Fried, and presented him with a copy of his book. The book is available from Bearkat Books in Huntsville for $35.
In his previous studies, Stowe earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Houston Law Center, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dallas, and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He has been on the SHSU College of Business Administration faculty since 1982, and also serves as director of the university's Office of International Programs.
He also holds the title of Professor, Leon Kozminski Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management, Warsaw.
His goal, he said, is to spread the word about democracy, as well as entrepreneurship and a free market economy, and their interrelationships.
"The way to peace and prosperity is for Western countries to share their ideas, knowledge and understanding of free markets," he said. "Economic freedom and the free market system is the key to democracy."
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Contact:Dr. Charles R. B. Stowe; 409.294.1287
SHSU Media Contact:Frank Krystyniak
Jan. 31, 2000
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