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James Billington

Academy of Achievement

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James Billington
James Billington

James Billington

Academy of Achievement

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The eminent historian and Russia scholar James H. Billington is the 13th person to serve as Librarian of the United States Congress. Valedictorian of his graduating class at Princeton University, he earned his doctorate in history as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. Following service in the U.S. Army, he taught at Harvard University and at Princeton, where he was a professor of history from 1964 to 1974. Billington first undertook the study of the Russian language when he was in high school. During his academic career he visited the Soviet Union as a guest professor at the University of Leningrad and an exchange research professor at the University of Moscow. In 1966 he published The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian culture, an encyclopedic, comprehensive study hailed as "the finest American book on Russia, and one of the major impressive accomplishments of American scholarship since the end of World War II." In 1973, he was chosen to serve as Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholarship. His success there made him a natural choice to head the Library of Congress, with its priceless collection of maps, charts, manuscripts, prints, photographs, recordings, motion pictures and millions of books, it is the largest library in the world. He has returned to Russia often as a member of numerous congressional delegations and as an adviser to President Ronald Reagan during the 1988 Moscow Summit. He shared his insights into Russian history in his three-part 1998 public television program, The Face of Russia. In this podcast, recorded during the Academy of Achievement's 1992 Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, he shows a short video before discussing the lessons of the Soviet experience and the history of the Library of Congress. He urges the Academy's student delegates to appreciate diversity and learn about cultures other than their own.

Latest Episodes

James Billington

The eminent historian and Russia scholar James H. Billington is the 13th person to serve as Librarian of the United States Congress. Valedictorian of his graduating class at Princeton University, he earned his doctorate in history as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. Following service in the U.S. Army, he taught at Harvard University and at Princeton, where he was a professor of history from 1964 to 1974. Billington first undertook the study of the Russian language when he was in high school. During his academic career he visited the Soviet Union as a guest professor at the University of Leningrad and an exchange research professor at the University of Moscow. In 1966 he published The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian culture, an encyclopedic, comprehensive study hailed as "the finest American book on Russia, and one of the major impressive accomplishments of American scholarship since the end of World War II." In 1973, he was chosen to serve as Directo...

10 MIN1992 JUN 26
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James Billington
the END

Latest Episodes

James Billington

The eminent historian and Russia scholar James H. Billington is the 13th person to serve as Librarian of the United States Congress. Valedictorian of his graduating class at Princeton University, he earned his doctorate in history as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. Following service in the U.S. Army, he taught at Harvard University and at Princeton, where he was a professor of history from 1964 to 1974. Billington first undertook the study of the Russian language when he was in high school. During his academic career he visited the Soviet Union as a guest professor at the University of Leningrad and an exchange research professor at the University of Moscow. In 1966 he published The Icon and the Axe: An Interpretive History of Russian culture, an encyclopedic, comprehensive study hailed as "the finest American book on Russia, and one of the major impressive accomplishments of American scholarship since the end of World War II." In 1973, he was chosen to serve as Directo...

10 MIN1992 JUN 26
Comments
James Billington
the END
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