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January 8–15, 1924

Dr. Pitirim Sorokin, formerly professor of sociology at the University of Petrograd, gave a series of five lectures on “The Sociology of Revolution.” President MacCracken had met Sorokin in Czechoslovakia at a dinner given by President Tomáš Masaryk, and he invited the émigré sociologist to, as Sorokin put it, “be a guest of Vassar for a few weeks, to study English there, and to prepare my lectures…. The six weeks I spent at Vassar were indeed happy and full ones. Each day I attended several classes, learned a great deal about the American academic way of life…and fully enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the college, the President’s family, the professors and the students.” Pitirim A. Sorokin, A Long Journey: the Autobiography of Pitirim A. Sorokin

While at Vassar, on December 31, 1923, Sorokin wrote to The New York Times, excoriating the expectations of Idaho Republican Senator William E. Borah that the Soviet regime in Russia would provide new markets for America. Declaring that Borah’s policies helped “the communistic criminals to ruin further their victims” and claiming that “the name of Senator Borah is one of the most unpopular among the Russian people,” Sorokin predicted that “If Senator Borah does not understand now the real situation in Russia and all the objective harmfulness of his…policy to the Russian people, I am certain that even he and his followers will understand it in two or three years.”

The Years