Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Martin Edward Malia: Historian of Russian and European Intellectual History

Interviewee(s):
Malia, Martin Edward
Interviewer(s):
Engerman, David
Title:
Martin Edward Malia: Historian of Russian and European Intellectual History
Abstract:
Martin Malia, a historian of Russian and European intellectual history, taught at Berkeley from 1958 until his retirement in 1991 – though he remained an active presence in Dwinelle Hall until his death in November 2004. He came to Berkeley’s department as it was expanding its offerings in Russian and Soviet history; Nicholas Riasanovsky had been on the faculty for three years when Malia arrived, and within a few years they were joined by Reginald Zelnik. By his own account, Malia was “not an organization man.” Nevertheless, he was involved in some of the central issues at Cal during his long career there. Most notable here were Malia’s experiences during the controversy over the Free Speech Movement in fall 1964. He reports beginning the semester in favor of the students although he quickly grew disenchanted with the FSM and other student movements. His scholarly interest in revolutions – the topic of his final book, left incomplete – intersected with his political observations. His frequent comparisons of 1960s social movements with the French and Russian Revolutions only bolstered his opposition to student protests in his own time.
Subject area(s):
Education and University of California
Interview date(s):
2003
Project:
History Department, UC Berkeley
Oskicat record:
b10461504
Rights:
Malia, Martin Edward. "Martin Edward Malia: Historian of Russian and European Intellectual History." Interview by David Engerman in 2003. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2005.