Harvard historian to lecture at USD Nov. 5 Richard Pipes, one of the world's leading authorities on Soviet, Russian and Caucasian history, and professor emeritus of history at Harvard University, will be visiting The University of South Dakota on Nov. 5 to deliver the Schell Lecture, an event sponsored by the Department of History.
Pipes' lecture is titled "From Serge Degaev to Alexander Pell: A Russian Terrorist's Odyssey that ended at The University of South Dakota." The lecture will be based on Pipes' most recently published book, The Degaev Affair: Terror and Treason in Tsarist Russia.
The event will be held in Churchill-Haines room 118 at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
J. Bottum, a native South Dakotan, recently reviewed Pipes' book for the journal First Things.
"The specifics of this fairy tale set at The University of South Dakota revolve primarily around a Russian revolutionary named Sergei Degaev," Bottum writes. "That is, of course, an unlikely combination. St. Petersburg is a long way from Vermillion, and Degaev was, as it happens, an astonishingly slippery triple agent in Tsarist Russia who somehow managed to escape death despite doing such normally suicidal things as betraying to his fellow revolutionaries the names of the police agents to whom he had just betrayed his fellow revolutionaries � among whom were several police agents masquerading as revolutionaries."
Bob Mercer, a South Dakota journalist, reviewed the book for the Weekly Standard and writes: "Pipes tracks the journeys of Degaev and his enemy, co-conspirator, and victim, Georgii Sudeikin, head of the tsar's secret police, into their darkness of treason, terrorism, utopian scheming, betrayals, retribution, and murder."
The Washington Post has called Pipes "one of America's great historians." His expertise has led governments, organizations, and publications to seek out his advice.
In addition to being a senior professor at Harvard, Pipes has served as director of Harvard's Russian Research Center (1968-73), as an expert for the Russian Constitutional Court (1992), as director of the National Security Council's East European and Soviet Affairs team (1981-82), as a member of the State Department's Reagan Transition Team (1980), and as chairman of the CIA's "Team B" to Review Strategic Intelligence Estimates (1976). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.