Sorokin on the “Martha Washington”

 

Sorokin on the “Martha Washington” — Trieste to Boston, 1923

 

The Russian exile Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin arrived in the United States on November 1, 1923 on the S. S. Martha Washington, which sailed from Trieste to Boston. After spending a few hours in Boston, where the ship first stopped, Sorokin proceeded by ship to New York City.

Note the date of arrival: November 1923 — not October, as Sorokin himself states, inaccurately, in his autobiography

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

 

MAT843_286-0858

141.158.36.COA.01

 

 

 

Pitirim Sorokin, “Russian and U.S. Universities Compared”

 

 

Pitirim Sorokin, ‘Russian and U.S. Universities Compared’ – Minnesota Alumni Weekly 5-21-1925

 

Posted here as a PDF file is the following article:

Russian and U.S. Universities, Compared

By Pitirim Sorokin

Minnesota Alumni Weekly

May 21, 1925

 

“Overtaking the Lies”

 

‘Overtaking the Lies’ (editorial) – Decatur Herald 3-23-1924

 

Posted here as a Word document is the following editorial concerning Sorokin:

Overtaking the Lies (editorial)

Decatur Herald (Decatur, Illinois)

Sunday, March 23, 1924

pg. 6

The editorial is self-explanatory.

Sorokin was on a lecture tour. He had been in the US since November 1923

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      July 2021

a review of “The Sociology of Revolution”

 

 

William English Wallling review of The Sociology of Revolution – Twin City Review 4-24-1925

 

Posted here is the following book review of Sorokin’s The Sociology of Revolution:

“Revolutionary Movements Dissected and Exposed”

By William English Walling

Twin City Review

April 24, 1925

 

This short, pithy review gets at the heart of why Sorokin’s groundbreaking work is still very much worth reading.

 

— Roger W. Smith

      July 2021

Sorokin’s “renunciation” letter

 

On October 29, 1918, in the Veliko-Ustyug provincial newspaper Peasant and Workers Dumas, the famous “renunciation” of Pitirim Sorokin was published, in which he announced his resignation from the Socialist-Revolutionary party and renounced the title of member of the Constituent Assembly.

I am posting the text of the letter here, first in Russian; and also, in my own English translation. If any corrections are necessary in the translation, I  would appreciate responses to that effect.

An English translation of Sorokin’s letter has not, to my knowledge, been published before.

 

— Roger W. Smith

 

 

Письмо в редакцию

«Крестьянские и рабочие думы»

Сим довожу до сведения граждан избирателей Воло-годской и Северо-Двинской губернии членов партии — с-р, что я: 1) отказываюсь от звания члена Учредит ельного собрания и всех прав и обязанностей, связанных с этим званием. 2) выхожу из состава партии соц иалистов-революционеров.

Основные мотивы, побудившие меня к этому шагу, таковы: 1) ввиду резко изменившихся, со времени выборов в Учред ительное собрание политических и социальных условий страны, а равно и политического настроения народа, я не могу считать себя правильным выразителем воли народа. 2) ввиду того же обстоятельства и чрезвы-чайной сложности современного внутригосударственного положения я затрудняюсь не только другим, но и самому себе указывать спасительные политические рецепты и брать на себя ответственное дело политического руко-водства и представительства народных масс.

При таких условиях каждый честный общественный деятель обязан сделать для себя надлежащий вывод, а именно: обязан отказаться от политики и прав и обязан-ностей политического работника. Этот отвод настоящим письмом я и делаю.

Сказанное объясняет и мой выход из партии соц иалистов-революционеров, раз я отказываюсь от всякой политической деятельности, то, естественно, я не могу состоять ни в какой политической партии, с одной стороны, числиться в партии мертвой единицей, с другой нести ответственность за ее политику.

К этим общественно-политическим мотивам должен еще присоединить мотив личного характера. Он состоит в моем горячем желании вернуться к прерванной чисто научной работе и к работе по культурному просвещению народа. Истекший год революции научил меня одной простой истине: политики могут ошибаться, политика может быть общественно полезной, но и может быть обще-ственно вредной, работа же в области науки и народного просвещения — всегда полезна и всегда нужна народу, в особенности же в эпохи коренного переустройства всей государственной и общественной жизни.

Этой работе, от которой на год с лишним я был оторван событиями и которую считал делом всей жизни, я отдаю отныне все свои слабые силы.

Приват-доцент Петроградского Университета и Психоневрологического Института, бывший член Учред ительного Собрания и бывший член партии с оциалистов-революционеров

Питирим Сорокин.

 

Letter to the editor

“Peasant and Workers’ Dumas”

I hereby inform the citizen voters of the Vologda and Severodvinsk provinces with party membership – s-r [Socialist-Revolutionary], that I: 1) renounce the title of member of the Constituent Assembly and all the rights and obligations associated with this title. 2) I quit the Socialist Revolutionary party.

The main motives which have prompted me to take this step are as follows: 1) in view of dramatic changes, since the elections to the Constituent Assembly, of the political and social conditions of the country, as well as the political mood of the people, I cannot consider myself a proper spokesman for the will of the people. 2) in view of the same circumstances and the extraordinary complexity of the current domestic situation, I find it difficult not only for others, but also for myself, to recommend salvific political recipes and take upon myself the responsible task of political leadership and representation of the masses.

Under such conditions, every honest public figure is obliged to draw the proper conclusion for himself, namely: he is obliged to renounce politics and the rights and duties of a political functionary. I am making that withdrawal by this letter.

The foregoing also explains my withdrawal from the Socialist Revolutionary party, since I renounce any political activity, then I cannot, naturally, be a member of any political party, considered a dead entity in the party on the one hand, while, on the other hand, bearing responsibility for its policies.

To these socio-political motives must be added a motive of a personal nature. It consists in my ardent desire to return to my interrupted purely scientific work and to work on the cultural enlightenment of the people. The past year of the revolution has taught me one simple truth: politicians can make mistakes, politics can be socially useful, but it can also be socially harmful, while work in the field of science and public education is always useful and always necessary for the people, especially in this time of radical transformation of all state and public life.

To this work, from which for more than a year I was torn away by events and which I considered the work of my whole life, I now give all my debilitated strength.

Privat-dozent of Petrograd University and the Psychoneurological Institute, former member of the Constituent Assembly and former member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party

Pitirim Sorokin.

two more rare Sorokin photos

 

 

Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin, Harvard Crimson, September 28 1933

 

Pitirim Sorokin, California Daily Bruin, UCLA, July 2, 1937

 

a damaging review of two Sorokin works

 

Ruth Benedict review of The Crisis of Our Age & Dynamics – New Republic 2-2-1942

 

Posted here is a review by Ruth Benedict of Sorokin’s The Crisis of Our Age and of his Social and Cultural Dynamics in The New Republic of February 2, 1942.

The review identifies and nails some of Sorokin’s fundamental weaknesses as a scholar. But, in my opinion (I would be inclined to say, that is), Sorokin does not fit neatly into any scholarly paradigm. He came out of a Russian tradition which was more mystical (is that the right word?) — certainly — than was or is seen in the social sciences; and he was never really understood or accepted by American intellectuals.

 

*****************************************************

 

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) was an American anthropologist and folklorist. She taught at Columbia University, where she did graduate work under the anthropologist Franz Boas. Patterns of Culture was her best known work.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      July 2021

Please note repost: Henry Noble MacCracken, “Russia of To-day”

 

 

I have reposted

at

Henry Noble MacCracken, “Russia of To-day”

 

“Russia of To-day”

by Henry Noble MacCracken

review of

современное состояние России (sovremennoye sostoyaniye Rossii; The

Contemporary Condition of Russia)

By Pitirim Sorokin

Prague, 1922

 

I had previously posted the wrong document; and the full text of this very illuminating and hard to find article was not available.

Henry Noble MacCracken was the President of Vassar College.

 

— Roger W. Smith

3 more rare (as far as I know) photos of Sorokin

 

 

 

Boston Daily Record, October 6, 1937

 

undated photo of Sorokin

 

Harvard Research Center in Creative Altruism, 1955

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

a Sorokin essay (1962)

 

 

Sorokin, ‘Theses on the Role of Historical Method in the Social Sciences’

 

 

Posted here (PDF file above) is

Pitirim A. Sorokin

Theses on the Role of Historical Method in the Social Sciences

address delivered at the Fifth World Congress of Sociology, Washington, DC, 1962

 

This essay does seem to be not readily available.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

May 2021