Adam Ulam

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Adam Bruno Ulam
Adam Ulam.jpg
Adam Ulam
Born (1922-04-08)April 8, 1922
Lwów, Poland
Died March 28, 2000(2000-03-28) (aged 77)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Resting place Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Occupation political scientist, historian, sovietologist, kremlinologist, author
Language English, Polish, Russian
Nationality Polish-Jewish
Citizenship Polish (before 1939), American (from 1939)
Alma mater Brown University, Harvard University
Genre non-fiction, political history, political philosophy
Subject Political Science, History, Sovietology, Kremlinology, Education
Notable works Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-67 (1968); Idealism and the Development of English Socialism (Ph.D. thesis, 1947)
Notable awards Delancey K. Jay Prize of Harvard University (1947)
Spouse Mary Hamilton (Molly) Burgwin Ulam (m. 1963, divorced 1991)
Children Alexander Stanislaw Ulam; Joseph Howard Ulam
Relatives Stanislaw Ulam (brother)
Website
adamulam.org

Adam Bruno Ulam (8 April 1922 – 28 March 2000) was a Polish-American historian of Jewish descent and political scientist at Harvard University. Ulam was one of the world's foremost authorities and top experts in Sovietology and Kremlinology, he authored multiple books and articles in these academic disciplines.

Biography

Adam B. Ulam was born on April 8, 1922, in Lwów then a major city in Poland, now Lviv in Ukraine, to the parents of a wealthy well-assimilated Jewish family. After graduating from high school, on or around August 20, 1939, his 13-years older brother Stanisław Ulam, a famous mathematician and key contributor to the Manhattan Project, took him to the United States to continue education. Their father had, at the last minute, changed the departure date from September 3 to August 20, most likely saving Adam's life since on September 1 the Second World War started by Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. Apart from the brothers Ulam, all other family members who remained in Poland perished in the Holocaust.

Adam got the United States citizenship yet in 1939, and tried to enlist in the US army twice after the United States entered the war, but was rejected at first for having "relatives living in enemy territory" and later, after the second attempt, for myopia. He studied at Brown University, and taught briefly at University of Wisconsin–Madison. After studies at Harvard University (1944-1947), he got a doctoral degree for the thesis Idealism and the Development of English Socialism awarded by the 1947 Delancey K. Jay Prize of the Harvard University. In 1947, he became a faculty member of the Harvard University, in 1954 he got a tenured position and until his academic retirement in 1992 was Gurney Professor of History and Political Science. He directed the Russian Research Center (1973–1974) and was a research associate for the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953–1955).

He married in 1963, divorced in 1991, and had two sons. On March 28, 2000, he died from lung cancer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the age of 77 and was buried at the Mount Auburn Cemetery therein.

Works

Ulam authored multiple books and articles, his writing were primarily dedicated to Sovietology, Kremlinology and the Cold War. His most known book is Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-67 (1968).

In his first book Titoism and the Cominform (1952), based on his the doctoral thesis, he argued that the Communists focus on certain goals blinded them to the disastrous socioeconomic side effects which could weaken their hold on power. His book The Unfinished Revolution: An Essay on the Sources of Influence of Marxism and Communism (1960) explored the Marxist thought. Other two of his books The Bolsheviks: The Intellectual and Political History of the Triumph of Communism in Russia (1965) and Stalin: The Man and His Era (1973) are internationally recognized as the standard biographies of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, respectively. He wrote also two sequels The Rivals: America and Russia since World War II (1971) and Dangerous Relations: The Soviet Union in World Politics, 1970-1982 (1983).

He also wrote a novel, The Kirov Affair (1988) on the Soviet 1930s. In one of his last books, published in 1992 — the year he retired — The Communists: The Story of Power and Lost Illusions 1948-1991, he commented on the fall of the Soviet Union, writing that communists lost because their ideology was misguided and realization of that by the governing elites led to their demoralization, which in turn fed the growing tensions and conflicts within and between Communist states.

The major exceptions in his book publications were Philosophical Foundations of English Socialism and The Fall of the American University, a critique of U.S. higher education, written in 1972.

Books

  • A History of Soviet Russia (1997)
  • Dangerous Relations: Soviet Union in World Politics, 1970-82 (1983)
  • Expansion and Coexistence, The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-67 (1968)
  • Ideologies and Illusions: Revolutionary Thought from Herzen to Solzhenitsyn (1976)
  • In the Name of the People: Prophets and Conspirators in Prerevolutionary Russia (1977)
  • Patterns of Government: The Major Political Systems of Europe, with Samuel H. Beer, Harry H. Eckstein, Herbert J. Spiro, and Nicholas Wahl, edited with S.H. Beer (1958)
  • Philosophical Foundations of English Socialism (1964)
  • Russia's Failed Revolutions: From the Decembrists to the Dissidents (1981)
  • Stalin: The Man and His Era (1973)
  • The Bolsheviks: The Intellectual and Political History of the Triumph of Communism in Russia (1965)
  • The Communists: The Story of Power and Lost Illusions, 1948-1991 (1992)
  • The Fall of the American University (1972)
  • The Kirov Affair (1988) - note: a novel
  • The New Face of Soviet Totalitarianism (1963)
  • The Rivals. America and Russia since World War II (1971)
  • The Russian Political System (1974)
  • The Unfinished Revolution: An Essay on the Sources of Influence of Marxism and Communism (1960)
  • Titoism and the Cominform (1952)
  • Understanding the Cold War: A Historian's Personal Reflections - note: a memoir (2000)

References and External Links

  • The Soviet Empire Reconsidered; Essays in Honor of Adam B. Ulam, edited by Sanford R. Lieberman, David E. Powell, Carol R. Saivetz, and Sarah M. Terry, Routledge, 1994
  • Kramer, Mark, "Memorial Notice: Adam Bruno Ulam (1922–2000)", Journal of Cold War Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, spring 2000, pp. 130–132
  • Crystal Reference Encyclopedia on Adam (Bruno) Ulam
  • Harvard News and Events: Memorial Minute: Adam Bruno Ulam read by Timothy J. Colton in 2002 and printed in the Harvard University Gazette
  • Adam Ulam's memorial page, with obituaries, biography, letters and other items
  • The Harvard Gazette obituary
  • The Washington Post obituary
  • The New York Times obituary
  • Information at ''Find a Grave''
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