This book distils growth policy lessons from live country stories by a former World Bank economist. The period covered is 1990–2008, encompassing the transition to a market economy in Central and Eastern Europe and the emerging market crises of 1997–2001 and their aftermath. Poland’s early transition and Russia’s surprisingly quick rebound from its 1998 devaluation and default are discussed, along with India’s unexpected growth take-off after 2003 and Kenya’s proclivity to let political instability derail the gains from good economic policy. The book argues that country economic analysis is in effect a separate, integrative branch of economics. The country stories on Poland, Kenya, India, and Russia, the core of the book, are based on the author’s first-hand experience. Russia 1998 connects to the emerging market crises of 1997–2001 and the macroeconomic policy debates they inspired on debt intolerance, original sin, and fiscal space. The emerging market response to the crises in the shape of comprehensive self-insurance with its implication of self-financed growth, topics to which the author contributed at the World Bank, are covered in the final part of the book. Developing countries can do much to spur growth provided that country leaders and policymakers aim for a sound intertemporal budget constraint for the government, implement the micropolicy trio of hard budgets, competition, and competitive real exchange rates, and take steps to manage volatility, especially from domestic sources. That is what emerges from the country stories. It is a policy agenda rife with political economy challenges; and there are no shortcuts.