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Oral history interview with Loren R. Graham, 2017

Creator: Graham, Loren R.
Project: Harriman Institute oral history collection.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 83 pages
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Loren R. Graham received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University in the 1950s, and his M.A. and a certificate from the Russian Institute at Columbia in 1960. He also earned his PhD at the Institute. Graham served as a professor of Russian history at Columbia from 1966 to 1978, when he became Professor of the History of Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 1972, he published a book on science and philosophy in the Soviet Union that was nominated for a National Book Award in History. Graham has published several books on the history of Soviet/Russian Science, as well as a memoir of his experiences in the Soviet Union/Russia. He is currently research associate at Harvard University.

Scope and Contents

In the interview's first session, Loren Graham provides detailed accounts of his experiences in the Soviet Union as a student in 1960 to 1961, and how Russia has changed both socially and politically over the years he has traveled there. He then speaks about his time at the then-Russian Institute, focusing briefly on the student protests of 1968. Graham expresses concern about the proximity of foreign policy scholars - in general and Harriman Institute faculty specifically - to government and argues for a philosophy of area/cultural studies. In the second session, Graham elaborates on his experiences at Harriman in the 1960s and the Columbia University student demonstrations of 1968, especially his efforts to support the students involved in the protest movement. He then discusses his friendships with Soviet individuals, some of whom became influential figures in the Soviet Union.


Access Conditions

Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2017.

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