Friday, May 18, 2018
Richard Pipes, authority on Russia and Soviet Union, and a Reagan-era hardliner, dies at 94
May 18, 2018
Richard Pipes, 1991 (Bill Greene/Boston Globe)
Richard Pipes, the Frank B. Baird Jr. research professor emeritus of history at Harvard University and one of the West’s foremost authorities on Russia and the Soviet Union, died Thursday in Belmont. He was 94.
Dr. Pipes was a participant in history as well as its student. He headed an outside group, which became known as Team B, brought in by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1976 to analyze Soviet strategic objectives. Its hard-line findings helped lay the foundation for Washington’s eventual abandonment of the policy of cooperation with the Soviets, known as detente, and the massive arms buildup of the Reagan years.
From 1981 to 1983, Dr. Pipes served as director of East European and Soviet Affairs for the National Security Council.
“I never made history, but I certainly played a part in historical events,” he said in a 1999 Globe interview. “It was a great experience, and I think I contributed something to destroying the Soviet regime.”