autographed title page of book presented by Ivan Pavlov to Pitirim A. Sorokin

 

 

 

 

dedication by Pavlov to Sorokin (2)

 

 

The inscription (translated from the Russian) reads, “For the much esteemed Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin from Pavlov.”

 

 

how did Sorokin’s “Hunger as a Factor in Human Affairs” get published?

 

 

Pitirim A. Sorokin’s lifelong friend and fellow academic Carle C. Zimmerman, with whom Sorokin taught for many years, states in his Sorokin: The World’s Greatest Sociologist: His Life and Ideas on Social Time and Change (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: University of Saskatchewan, 1968, pg. xiii-xiv), regarding Sorokin’s groundbreaking study голод как фактор (golod kak faktor; published in English as Hunger as a Factor in Human Affairs):

After the famine of 1921, … [Sorokin] embarked upon a study of the sociology of hunger and famine. The communist government had killed the landowners and tried to collectivize the peasants. As a result of this, agricultural production declined to disastrously low levels. A former grain exporting country could no longer feed itself. A drought in 1920 and 1921 resulted in wholesale starvation. Millions died of famine. Sorokin’s book about this was too much for the communists. His manuscript was destroyed and he accepted banishment September 23, 1922 to save his life.
This statement is misleading. The book was published in Leningrad in 1922. Soviet censors immediately destroyed it. It is easy to see why. Sorokin’s study was written in the midst of, and in response to, the Russian famine of 1921–22. It shows how the government in power can create such conditions.

In the introduction to the English translation by Sorokin’s wife, Elena P. Sorokin, which was published in 1975 as Hunger as a Factor in Human Affairs, Elena Sorokin notes that “The censors … caught up with the book in its final stage of production and destroyed it. When Pitirim and I were banished from the USSR …, we smuggled out the proofs of the book.” It was published posthumously, as noted above, in a translation by Sorokin’s wife.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   December 2017

 

 

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title-page-hunger-as-a-factor-in-human-affairs.jpg

 

 

 

 

Pitrim A. Sorokin residence

 

 

‘Winchester garden aglow with azaleas’ – Boston Globe

 

 

On May 24, 2017, I traveled by car to Winchester, Massachusetts, where the world famous Russian émigré sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin, one of my heroes, lived.

Sorokin, his wife Elena P.  Sorokin, and their two sons resided at 8 Cliff Street in Winchester. (Sorokin died in 1968. One of his sons still occupies the same residence.) I was interested not only to see the residence of a world renowned scholar and writer, but also to see the house because it was famous for its grounds: a garden developed and maintained by Sorokin himself, for which he had won awards from horticultural societies and of which he was proud.

I drove up the block, which was on a steep ascent, using GPS to guide me. The GPS system advised me that I had arrived at my destination, 8 Cliff Street, on my left. I saw 6 Cliff Street, but where was number 8? Number 8 was shrouded and hidden by a profusion of flowering bushes. It reminded me of the Forest of Thorns in “Sleeping Beauty.”

 

— Roger W. Smith

 

 

 

 

Pitrim A. Sorokin residence, 8 Cliff St., Winchester, MA. Photographs by Roger W. Smith.

 

 

photographs of Pitirim A. Sorokin and his wife, Elena P. Sorokin

 

 

1-pitirim-a-sorokin-in-1917.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2-elena-sorokin-1917

 

 

3-sorokin-with-his-wife-and-her-family-in-tambov-russia

 

 

 

4-sorokin-lecturing-at-harvard

 

 

 

 

6-sorokin-vacationing-lake-memphremagog-canada.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-sorokin-at-his-writing-desk-winchester-ma

 

 

7-pitirim-a-sorokin1

 

8-pitirim-a-sorokin 2

 

 

my Sorokin books

 

 

my Sorokin books

 

 

The attached Word document (above) contains an inventory of books by and about the Russian-American sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin (1889-1968) in my personal home library.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

    October 2017