Oral history interview with Colette Shulman, 2017
Colette Shulman has worked in the field of Soviet Russian-American relations since 1955. At that time, she directed and taught in Moscow, in the Anglo-American School. She also served as a journalist in the Moscow Bureau of United Press International and a UN correspondent. She wrote and narrated a documentary filmed in Moscow, on the eve of the Soviet Union's fiftieth anniversary, which featured interviews with leading Soviet writers, scientists and public figures. Shulman also helped found Women's Dialogue in the US and USSR to address issues of concern to women in society. She was a senior staff associate at Columbia School of International Affairs in the 1980s and chaired the university seminar on Communism. She is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Scope and Contents
Shulman charts her trajectory towards the Harriman Institute, beginning with an interest in Russia sparked by a course she took as an undergraduate at Wellesley College. Shulman then discusses her experience at Harriman, and travelling to the Soviet Union in the 1950s. She ascribes some policy influence to Harriman figures of her time, and analyzes the impact of their roles in government and academia. Shulman contrasts the differences between academic careers at that time and at the time of the interview. She emphasizes the importance of think tanks as sources of policy innovation, and would like Harriman to be regarded in this way again. Shulman discusses her area studies background, which she considers to have prepared her very well for a career in journalism. Shulman then speaks to her major works and projects, which have largely emphasized getting American and Russian people to know and speak to each other on a person-to-person rather than state-to-state basis (Track two diplomacy).
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2017.