Controversial Russian Historian to Speak At UB

Release Date: October 21, 1997

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Historian Richard Pipes, Baird Professor of History Emeritus at Harvard University and a member of the National Security Council in the Reagan administration, will present a public lecture, titled "Russia's Burden of History," at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, in 107 Talbert Hall on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

The lecture will be sponsored by the Ukrainian Studies Fund, the departments of History and Political Science, and the Ukrainian Students Club. It is free of charge and open to the public.

Pipes, who has an international reputation as an historian of pre-Soviet and Soviet Russia, is the author of many authoritative studies. Among them is his 1974 book, "Russia under the Old Regime," which established him as one of the world's leading historians of that country.

His claim that the weak nature and late appearance of private property is a major cause of Russia's predilection to accept authoritarian rule has had profound international influence in his field. Pipes also was one of the first American historians of Russia to realize the political significance of the tsarist and Soviet governments of the non-Russian nationalities.

Pipes is a controversial figure in academic and political circles. His critics charge that he is not an objective scholar, but a politically tendentious historian who subordinates honest treatment of facts to his own right-wing ideological obsessions.

His most recent book is "The Russian Revolution and Russia under the Bolshevik Regime." He is presently engaged in a comparative examination of the relationship between private property and political liberty.

Pipes was born in Poland and grew up in Warsaw between the world wars. After the outbreak of World War II, he escaped with his family to the United States and was educated at Cornell University and at Harvard, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1950.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1994, he was granted a doctor honoris causa by the Silesia University in Poland.

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