“What benefit does Russia derive from this Institute?” Tsar Nicholas II on the Psycho-Neurological Institute


A most interesting article has been posted on line and brought to my attention by its author:

“What benefit does Russia derive from this Institute?” Tsar Nicholas II on the Psycho-Neurological Institute: The last Emperor of Russia and Vladimir Bekhterev’s Psycho-Neurological Institute revolutionaries

by Federico Soldani

29th Oct 2021



Sorokin was a student at the Psycho-Neurological Institute.

As Soldani notes: “The Institute offered medical training of the highest order, but its students’ revolutionary tendencies were becoming a concern for the government. In 1912, the mayor of Saint Petersburg had reported on political activity among the capital’s students. In margin of the section on the Psycho-Neurological Institute, Tsar Nicholas II had written, “What benefit does Russia derive from this Institute? I wish to have a well-founded answer”. In the spring of 1914 the minister of public education presented an additional report on the anti-governmental attitudes of Bekhterev’s students and recommended the Institute’s closure.”

Sorokin, Город И Деревня (City and Country)


Sorokin, City and Country – Heritage 2021 ENGLISH

Sorokin, City and Country – Heritage 2001 RUSSIAN


П.А. Сорокин, Город И Деревня (Биосоциологическая Характеристика), Наследие. 2021, № 1(18). – с.154-169 … По Изданию: Сорокин П.А. Город и Деревня: Биосоциологическая Характеристика // Крестьянская Россия. IV. Прага, 1923. – C.3–23


Pitirim Sorokin, “City And Country (Bio-Sociological Characteristics),” Nasledie [Heritage]. 2021, No. 1 (18), pp. 174-189 … According to the publication: P. A. Sorokin, “City and Country: Biosociological Characteristics,” Peasant Russia IV (Prague, 1923). pp. 3-23 … translated by Natalia S. Sergieva and Roger W. Smith


Сергиева Н.С., Смит Р.В. О статье Питирима Сорокина «Город и деревня» (Прага, 1923) Наследие. 2021, № 1(18). – с.150–153


Natalia S. Sergieva and Roger W. Smith, “About Pitirim Sorokin’s Article ‘City And Country’ (Bio-Sociological Characteristics)’ (Prague, 1923).” Nasledie [Heritage]. 2021, No. 1 (18), pp. 170–173.



— posted by Roger W. Smith

      September 2021

the Sorokins and Russian War Relief


‘Town Rallies Behind War Relief’ – Winchester Chronicle


75 years ago: Town rallies behind Russian War Relief

By Ellen Knight

The Daily Times Chronicle (Winchester, MA)

June 13, 2017




Russian benefit – Boston Globe 12-15-1941


– posted by Roger W. Smith

     September 2021

“Even more absurd was a request from P. A. Sorokin.”


“There were other interesting ways in which intensity of feeling showed itself in irrational ways, showing how human good scholars can be.

“During my editorship of the ASR [American Sociological Review] the president of SSSP [The Society for the Study of Social Problems] sent in a proposed constitution for that organization, requesting that it be published in the ASR. Since the Review never had a policy of printing constitutions of other societies (or even that of the ASA!), the paper was returned. My reward was a denunciation in a Council meeting and a further drubbing in a letter to the president of ASA, with copies to various other leading sociologists.

“Even more absurd was a request from P.A. Sorokin, who demanded that I publish a statement accusing Talcott Parsons of plagiarism from Sorokin’s works. This was not the product of a reasonable mind; his principal argument was that Parsons had based a theory on the three elements of society, culture, and personality–an idea that was clearly in the public domain. On receiving a rejection, Sorokin responded with an angry letter, threatening to publish the statement elsewhere and to add that it had been refused by me, Editor of ASR. I terminated the correspondence by writing that if he did, he should add that the Editor had submitted the statement to every associate editor and that each one had recommended against printing it. I never learned if he attempted to publish it elsewhere.”

— “Recollections of a Half Century of Life in the ASA,” By Robert E. L. Faris, The American Sociologist, Vol. 16, No. 1 (February , 1981), pp. 51-52


— posted by Roger W. Smith

      August 2021

an interview with Don Martindale


Martindale and Mohan, ‘An Interview with Don Martindale’ – International Social Science Review’


Posted here as a PDF file:

Perspectives of a Contemporary Critical Realist: An Interview with Don Martindale

By Don Martindale and Raj P. Mohan

International Social Science Review

Vol. 58, No. 3 (summer 1983), pp. 142-154

Don Martindale was a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. Raj P. Mohan was a professor of sociology at Auburn University.

Martindale makes personal observations about and comparisons between sociologists such as Sorokin, Talcott Parsons, Robert Merton, and C. Wright Mills which some scholars may find interesting.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021

Russell Middleton: from his “History of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison”


Middleton excerpts


Posted here as a Word document are fascinating excerpts pertaining to Sorokin from History of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Volume 1: Challenges, Ups, and Downs, 1874-2016 by Russell Middleton (Madison, Wisconsin: Anthropocene Press, 2001).



email from Russell Middleton to Roger W. Smith

August 22, 2018


Dear Mr. Smith:

I am happy to give you my permission to cite and quote from my discussion of the relationship between E. A. Ross and Pitirim Sorokin. Ross strongly disagreed with Sorokin’s view of the Soviet leaders, but he was taken in by Soviet propaganda. Nevertheless, he had great respect for Sorokin as a scholar and played a major role in helping him land a job at the University of Minnesota and later as chair of the Sociology Dept. at Harvard.

When I was a graduate student at Minnesota in 1951 there was a joke circulating among the sociology graduate students that Sorokin had read every book in the library. I almost came to believe it when I was looking for some good French sociology texts to use in practice for my French reading exam (which was required for the PhD then). In the stacks I pulled down some very old issues of L’année Sociologique, the famous French journal of Durkheim, Mauss, etc. I was startled to see that Sorokin was the last (and only) person who had checked out the volume in all the years since Sorokin had taught there.

When I run across people who argue that Lenin was a decent leader, in contrast with Stalin, I tell them to go read Sorokin’s autobiography.

Best wishes,
Russell Middleton
Prof. Emeritus of Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Madison



I wish to thank Professor Middleton for giving me permission to post these excepts from his book.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021

Mrs. Sorokine on Way to This Country Now




Posted here:

“Mrs. Pitirim Sorokine on Way to This Country Now”

Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois)

March 23, 1924

pg. 17



– posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021

another early photograph of Sorokin



published in The Daily Illini (The University of Illinois)

March 12, 1924


Sorokin, who arrived in the United States only a few months earlier, was on a lecture tour.

Sorokin interview, California Daily Bruin (1937)


‘Sorokin Tells about Students, Professors, Preferences’ – California Daily Bruin 7-2-1937


Posted here as a PDF file is the following article:

Sorokin Tells about Students, Professors, Preferences

By Barbara Hirshfeld

California Daily Bruin

July 2, 1937

pp. 1, 4

Sorokin was teaching a summer session course at the University of California at Los Angeles. The interview gives a warm, lighthearted view of Sorokin as person.


posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021

Sorokin Hits Colleges as “Ph.D. Factories”


‘Sorokin Hits Colleges as Ph.D. Factories’ – Boston Sunday Post 1-10-1954

‘Sorokin Hits Colleges as Ph.D. Factories’ – Boston Sunday Post 1-10-1954


Posted here both as a PDF file and as a Word document is the following article:

Sorokin Hits Colleges as “Ph.D. Factories”

Boston Sunday Post

January 10, 1954

pp. 33, 42

The article gives perspective on Sorokin’s pedagogical views. The book he mentions being currently at work on was apparently Fads and Foibles in Modern Sociology and Related Sciences.


posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2021