Eberstadt, Nicholas 1955–

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Eberstadt, Nicholas 1955–

(Nicholas Nash Eberstadt, Nick Eberstadt)


Born December 20, 1955, in New York, NY; son of Frederick (a photographer) and Isabel (a writer) Eberstadt; married Mary Tedeschi (a writer), October 24, 1987; children: Frederick William, Catherine Nash, Isabel. Ethnicity: "American." Education: Harvard University, B.A., M.P.A., Ph.D.; London School of Economics and Political Science, London, M.Sc. Politics: "Classical liberal."


Home—Washington, DC. Office—American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1150 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036.


American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, DC, visiting scholar, then Wendt Chair in Political Economy, 1985—. Harvard University, visiting fellow, 1980—; consultant to government and private organizations, including U.S. Bureau of the Census, World Bank, and U.S. Department of State.


Foreign Aid and American Purpose, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 1988.

The Poverty of Communism, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 1988.

(With J. Banister) The Population of North Korea, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1992.

Korea Approaches Reunification, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1995.

The Tyranny of Numbers: Mismeasurement and Misrule, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 1995.

The End of North Korea, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 1999.

Prosperous Paupers & Other Population Problems, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 2000.

(Editor, with Jonathan Tombes) Comparing the U.S. and Soviet Economies: Report from the 1990 Airlie House Conference, two volumes, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (Washington, DC), 2000.

(Editor, with Richard J. Ellings) Korea's Future and the Great Powers, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 2001.

(Editor, with Ahn Choong-yong and Lee Young-sun) A New International Engagement Framework for North Korea? Contending Perspectives, Korea Economic Institute (Washington, DC), 2004.

The North Korean Economy: Between Crisis and Catastrophe, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Wall Street Journal, New Republic, New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, New York Review of Books, National Review, Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, and Commentary.


Nicholas Eberstadt writes and speaks on demographic and foreign-aid issues, ways to improve poverty and reduce famine, politics in East Asia with emphasis on North Korea, and issues affecting Russia and other former Soviet republics. His speaking duties have taken him before congressional committees, international summit meetings, and onto radio and television as a commentator. Eberstadt has been particularly attentive to events in North Korea, a communist nation born during the Cold War that today suffers from isolationism, famine, and a reputation as a terrorist state.

In The End of North Korea, Eberstadt describes the beleaguered country's plight at the end of the twentieth century, reporting that it is "less a nation-state than a shakedown state," to quote New York Times Book Review correspondent Aaron L. Friedberg. Eberstadt demonstrates how North Korea has used the threat of nuclear terrorism to extort outside assistance from South Korea, Japan, and the United States, assistance that has done little to stave off mass starvation and economic decline within its borders. Friedberg wrote: "Eberstadt argues persuasively that prolonging North Korea's life may actually increase the costs and the dangers of its inevitable demise." The author "brilliantly challenges the conventional wisdom that North Korea is ruled by madmen," to quote Lucian W. Pye in Foreign Affairs. Pye added: "Eberstadt convincingly argues that the inherent flaws in communism will inevitably doom North Korea—and it is time to start preparing for the eventual reunification with the South."

Eberstadt once told CA: "I come from a family with a literary tradition. When I was quite young, I tried writing fiction. This proved too difficult; I have stuck with nonfiction ever since. Most of my writing is in the realm of what is somewhat pretentiously called ‘social science.’ Using numbers as a cane, rather than a cudgel, I try to help my readers traverse contemporary social and economic problems. I enjoy writing. It forces me to clarify."



Foreign Affairs, November-December, 1999, Lucian W. Pye, review of The End of North Korea, p. 139.

New York Times Book Review, December 12, 1999, Aaron L. Friedberg, "Loose Cannon," p. 23.