Graham, Loren R. 1933-
Graham, Loren R. 1933-
Born June 29, 1933, in Hymera, IN; son of Ross R. (a teacher) and Hazel Graham; married Patricia Albjerg (a professor), September 6, 1955; children: Marguerite. Education: Purdue University, B.S., 1955; Columbia University, M.A., 1960, Ph.D., 1964; University of Moscow, graduate study, 1960-61.
Writer, engineer, scientist, consultant, and educator. Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI, research engineer, 1955; Indiana University, Bloomington, assistant professor of history of science, 1963-66; Columbia University, New York, NY, assistant professor, 1966-67, associate professor, 1967-72, professor of history, 1972-78; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, professor of the history of science, 1978-2006; Harvard University, Cambridge, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, faculty associate and member of executive committee, 2006—. Member, Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton University, 1969-70; resident fellow, Program on Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, 1976-77. Stanford University, Kendall Lecturer, 1995. Consultant, National Academy of Science, 1976-78, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1976-77, and National Science Foundation, 1976. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1955-63; on active duty, 1955-58.
American Historical Association, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (fellow), History of Science Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (fellow), American Philosophical Society, Society for the History of Technology, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Natural Science (foreign member).
Woodrow Wilson fellowship; Guggenheim fellow, 1969-70; Rockefeller Foundation fellow, 1976-77; George Sarton Medal, History of Science Society, 1996; Folio Award, Michigan Historical Society, 2000; National Book Award nomination, for Science, Philosophy, and Human Behavior in the Soviet Union. Recipient of honorary degree from Purdue University.
Between Science and Values, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1981.
(Editor, with Wolf Lepenies and Peter Weingart) Functions and Uses of Disciplinary Histories, D. Reidel (Boston, MA), 1983.
(Editor, with Richard Stites) Red Star: The First Bolshevik Utopia, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1984.
Science, Philosophy, and Human Behavior in the Soviet Union, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1987.
(Editor) Science and the Soviet Social Order, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1990.
The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1993.
Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993.
A Face in the Rock: The Tale of a Grand Island Chippewa, Island Press (Washington, DC), 1995.
Moscow Stories, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 2006.
Contributor to books, including Technology, Culture, and Development: The Experience of the Soviet Model, M.E. Sharpe (Armonk, NY), 1992.
Loren R. Graham is an educator, scientist, and author whose specialty is Soviet technology, society, and social science. Of Graham's Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union, New York Times Book Review contributing critic Marx W. Wartofsky remarked: "It is a masterful summary of an enormously rich and complex interaction between dialectical materialism and science in the Soviet Union, in several of the major fields in which the sharpest debates have developed over the last half century: quantum mechanics, relativity physics, cosmology and cosmogony, genetics, the origin of life, structural chemistry, cybernetics, physiology and psychology. The issues are varied but the concern centers on philosophical and methodological questions throughout." According to a Times Literary Supplement reviewer: "Its main value … is in providing a complete and up-to-date account of what is being done in the Soviet Union in these ideologically sensitive subjects. Some of it may appear to outsiders to have little value, but it does include much of high importance, about which all too little is known in the rest of the world."
The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union considers the role that Soviet technology and science played in the fall of the communist nation. Graham focuses specifically on civil engineer Peter Palchinsky, the "ghost" of the book's title. Palchinsky worked on some of the Soviet Union's biggest industrialization projects, and was an advocate for taking into account the human aspects of any project and how large construction projects would affect the people around them. In contrast, Palchinsky's superiors wanted their orders followed to the letter and without question. The communist party wanted its plans carried out, no matter how poorly conceived, damaging to people and the environment, or likely to fail. Palchinsky's support for thorough study and moderation, consideration of a project's effects, and his desire to accommodate human needs, made him a target. Ultimately, he was arrested and executed. Palchinsky's fate effectively silenced other engineers and scientists, leading to engineering projects and infrastructure construction that would not survive the passage of time. "The story is as gripping as it is tragic and important," commented a reviewer in American Heritage.
In Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History, Graham offers a concise overview of the history and background of Russian and Soviet science, technological advancements, and research. "The result is a readable, up-to-date discussion of some of the topics that have concerned both Russian and American specialists in recent years," commented Mark B. Adams in American Scientist. Graham looks at the Tsarist period and considers reasons why a Russian scientific tradition did not exist prior to 1800. He considers the accomplishments of noted Soviet scientists, including Demitri Mendeleev, who assembled the widely known periodic table of the elements. He also discusses the effects of the oppressive state on Soviet science, the characteristics and organizational features of Russian science, and the history of specific scientific disciplines within the Soviet sphere. "For the educated reader looking for a concise, one-volume history of Russian and Soviet science, it would be difficult to improve upon this work," remarked Philip T. Grier in the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience? provides a social and cultural assessment of the effects of science, and considers historical material from the Soviet Union as illustrative examples. He analyzes the enormous growth of scientific work in the Soviet Union and charts the inevitable breakdowns when Russian science experienced great oppression under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the mid-twentieth century, and when financial doom hit the country in the early 1990s. "Graham's book is rich in new information, in carefully balanced generalizations, and in fertile suggestions for future research in the field," noted reviewer Alexander Vucinich in the Canadian Journal of History. "I doubt that even contemporary Russia has a single scholar capable of doing a better job than Graham with this subject," stated Alexander Gurshtein in American Scientist. "This is owed in large measure to Graham's facility with the material, his open-mindedness and his considerable writing talent."
Graham turns his attention to American shores with A Face in the Rock: The Tale of a Grand Island Chippewa. In the book, he tells the story of a small, peaceful group of Chippewa Indians who lived on Grand Island, situated off the southern shore of Lake Superior near Munising, MI. Graham recounts how this group was nearly wiped out when they were goaded into joining Chippewa on the mainland in fighting the Sioux. The only survivor was Little Duck, whose name was later changed to Powers of the Air due to his physical prowess as a runner, who soon abandoned his idyllic longtime home on the island. Michigan Historical Review contributor John V. Jezierski found Graham's account symbolic of the "momentous and tragic struggle for survival of a society and culture during the last two centuries." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book a "fine piece" of regional and local history, and a thorough account of "white encroachment, desecration of natural resources, and degradation of the Chippewa."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Heritage, April, 1994, review of The Ghost of the Executed Engineer: Technology and the Fall of the Soviet Union, p. 120.
American Scientist, January-February, 1995, Mark B. Adams, review of Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History, p. 99; January-February, 1999, Alexander Gurshtein, review of What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience?, p. 90.
Atlantic Monthly, November, 1993, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of The Ghost of the Executed Engineer, p. 160.
Business History, October, 1994, Peter Gatrell, review of The Ghost of the Executed Engineer, p. 160.
Canadian Journal of History, April, 1999, Alexander Vucinich, review of What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience?, p. 151.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History, autumn, 1995, Philip T. Grier, review of Science in Russia and the Soviet Union, p. 316.
Michigan Historical Review, fall, 1999, John V. Jezierski, review of A Face in the Rock, p. 136.
New York Times, April 21, 1991, Glenn Garelik, "In Short/Science," review of Science and the Soviet Social Order.
New York Times Book Review, March 5, 1972, review of Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, May 29, 1995, review of A Face in the Rock, p. 73; February 27, 2006, review of Moscow Stories, p. 50.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2006, review of Moscow Stories.
Science, April 15, 1994, David Holloway, review of The Ghost of the Executed Engineer, p. 446.
Technology Review, May-June, 1991, Karen Rosenberg, review of Science and the Soviet Social Order, p. 69.
Times Literary Supplement, February 22, 1974, review of Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union, p. 175; May 21, 1982, review of Between Science and Values, p. 561.