"Berend is correct in the description of the system and his own role in it when he writes: 'It was possible to work for reform and even criticize the system, with the exception of certain taboos.... Of course this meant that reformers had to make severe compromises. I made mine too'. People like Berend helped erode the communist order. The three eras in the title of Berend’s autobiography refer to interwar and wartime Hungary, communist Hungary, and post-1989 United States. They represent the three main political and social systems experienced in the Western world after World War I: fascism/Nazism, communism, and democracy. Berend’s story is colored by the fact that he made not only a Hungarian academic career but also an international one, both before and after 1989. He describes how he had a central position in establishing the discipline of economic history and research on East Central European economic history under the conditions of Marxist hegemony in Hungary. He goes on to tell how he gained recognition from scholars in the West, not the least in the United States."