Moscow Stories

Moscow Stories

Loren R. Graham
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/7/2006
Format: cloth 320 pages, 13 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-34716-9
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Description

“Graham has brilliantly encapsulated and interwoven the major features of Soviet and post-Soviet history in his riveting stories. . . . a splendid and extraordinary work.” —Edward Grant, author of God and Reason in the Middle Ages

“A very lively read, indeed a real page turner . . . Graham’s discussion of pressing ethical dilemmas displays a sureness of hand and a refreshing candor about his own struggles with the issues.” —Susan Solomon, University of Toronto

The distinguished American historian of Russian and Soviet science Loren R. Graham recounts with warmth and wit his experiences during 45 years of traveling and researching in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia, from 1960 to 2005. Present for many historic events during this period, Graham writes not as a political correspondent or an analyst, but as an ordinary American living through these years alongside Russian friends and critics. Graham befriended some of the leading scientists and politicians in Russia, but his most touching stories concern average Russians with whom he lived, worked, suffered, and exchanged views. Graham also writes of the ethical questions he confronted, such as the tension between independence of thought and political loyalty. Finally, he depicts the ways in which Russia has changed—visually, politically, and ideologically—during the last 15 years. These gripping, sometimes humorous, always deeply personal stories will engage and inform all readers with an interest in Russia during this tumultuous period of history.

Author Bio

Loren R. Graham is Professor of the History of Science at MIT and a member of the Executive Committee, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. A National Book Award finalist, he has written many books and articles on the history of science and other subjects. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Reviews

"Exciting, shocking, reflective, humane, strong-minded, compelling and touching, this book is essential reading for anyone who has been involved in the affairs of modern Russia or is thinking of taking them up." — History

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Table of Contents

Preface

Part I. Learning to Learn about Russia and Communism
1. The Communism Problem in Farmersburg
2. Technological Competition and the Cold War

Part II. Student Days at Moscow University
3. No Singing Allowed at Moscow University
4. Lennie in the Workers' Paradise
5. Rural Russia and the Forbidden Fish
6. An American Sit-in and a Russian Riot
7. The Fate of My Closest Russian Friend
8. The Vodka Caper

Part III. Research in the USSR
9. The Meaning of Science in Russia
10. The American Colony in the Soviet Union
11. The Biggest Fraud in Biology
12. Peter Kapitsa, a Man of Many Parts
13. I Break into the Ambassador's House
14. The Bravery of Bukharin's Widow
15. Filming Refuseniks and Dissidents in Moscow

Part IV. Intelligence, the Cold War, and Security Concerns
16. The Scholar Who Disappeared
17. Being Followed
18. Spies and Scholars

Part V. From the USSR to Post-Communist Russia
19. A Man of Fervor
20. The Soviet Union and I Collapse Together
21. An Ambiguous Funeral
22. George Soros Tries to Save Russian Science and Culture
23. Death of an Old American Communist

Afterthoughts

Biographical Notes
Acknowledgments
Citations
Index