See the article in its original context from July 27, , Section C, Page 23 Buy Reprints View on timesmachine TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. Alexander Dallin, an American historian of the Soviet Union whose family took part in the Russian Revolution but who was widely respected for the scholarly detachment with which he viewed Communism, died of heart failure on July 22 in Stanford, Calif. He was He had a stroke the day before, Stanford University said in announcing his death. Spruance professor of international history from to
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Over people gathered at Memorial Church on October 11 to celebrate his life and work and to remember and honor him. Dallin chaired virtually every major committee in the field and was a long-term Board Member and President of the AAASS, the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, which he helped to reinvigorate when he brought its headquarters to Stanford in the s.
His family fled from the Nazis to France, where, even as a teenager, he became involved in anti-fascist activities. No doubt the harrowing experiences of his youth influenced the passion for liberty and the deep humanity that infused all of his work and deeds. Air Force and organized at the Russian Research Center in the late s. The book won the Wolfson Prize for History and was republished in an enlarged and revised edition in by Westview.
This volume, still widely read and admired by scholars and students in the field, combines insights gained from the interview project with meticulous research in captured German documents and Soviet memoirs. Dallin was a prodigious scholar, who moved effortlessly and creatively between the disciplines of Political Science and History.
He helped to bridge the gap between the two disciplines at Stanford, serving as an interpreter and bridge-builder and holding appointments in both departments.
He was also a brilliant stylist and an inspiring speaker. He set the highest standards for himself, yet was self-effacing and modest about his astonishing accomplishments. Both during the Soviet period and after, Dallin was never satisfied with pat answers or convenient stereotypes about Russia or the Russians.
He constantly searched behind the ostensible one-dimensionality of the Soviet monolith for movement, change, and internal conflict. By focusing on causal linkages between domestic and foreign affairs, he was able to identify nuanced shifts in Soviet policy. He looked at Soviet-American rivalry as the outcome of a dynamic relationship, one that was subject to change and amelioration from both sides. His colleagues and friends at Stanford barely noticed his retirement. He was repeatedly "called back to duty" to teach, and he continued to write and to participate in seminars, panels, and conferences.
He helped set up the new European University in St. Several generations of his students and colleagues at Columbia, Stanford, and elsewhere remember with fondness and gratitude his scrupulous mentorship, his amazing erudition, and his willingness to read and comment on manuscripts. His wisdom, generosity, and irrepressible wit will be sorely missed, especially in the History Department, which was his departmental home, in the Institute of International Studies, where he worked the past several years, and in the Center for Russian and East European Studies, which owes much of its intellectual and financial vitality to the many years of his stewardship and care.
German rule in Russia, 1941-1945: a study of occupation policies
More than sixty years on, it is probably still the definitive text on the subject. The book is a master class on how to write history. It meets rigorous academic standards but remains readable -- in fact, it makes for compelling reading. Dallin is in complete command of his material in German, Russian and other languages. And the topic is a vast one, ranging from German policies towards to the Soviet Alexander Dallin, the son of the well-known Menshevik David Dallin, published this book in And the topic is a vast one, ranging from German policies towards to the Soviet collective farms to the last-minute attempt, in early , to launch a pro-Nazi Russian army under the command of General Vlasov.
Alexander Dallin, 76, Dies; Precise Historian of Russia
German Rule in Russia, 1941-1945