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The “Polish Connection” in American Sovietology • Andrzej Nowak (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)
September 27, 2016 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Polish intellectuals played a significant role in shaping the view of the Soviet Union in post-war Europe and the United States. As Stephen Kotkin points out,”Czesław Miłosz lectured at Berkeley with uncanny empathy on Dostoyevsky, Leszek Kołakowski entombed Soviet Marxism as well as Western Marxism in his monumental trilogy, Andrzej Walicki of Notre Dame struck brilliant portraits of Russian populism and the Slavophile-Westernizer divide. […] And beyond the history of ideas, Zbigniew Brzeziński, the grand strategists and perceptive analyst of the Soviet Bloc, served as National Security Adviser (under Carter), while Richard Pipes, the grand synthesizer of imperial Russian history, also found his way into the National Security Council (under Reagan).” Dr. Andrzej Nowak will expand on the notion of the “Polish Connection” in American Sovietology by examining the political context and life experiences of its major contributors: Adam Ulam, Leopold Labedz, and Richard Pipes. He will chart the evolution of their perspectives on Russia and the Soviet Union and discuss their influence on the Cold War discourse.
Andrzej Nowak is a Polish historian, public intellectual, and professor of Eastern European history at Jagiellonian University and at the Institute of History (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw). He served as editor-in-chief of a political-cultural bimonthly ARCANA from 1994 to 2012 and has published more than twenty books, mostly on Eastern European political and intellectual history. He was a visiting professor and lecturer at many universities in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe. Dr. Nowak is currently the chairman of the Advisory Council of The Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding and a member of the National Development Council, appointed by the Polish President Andrzej Duda.