CREES Noon Lecture. “Separated by a Common Language: Soviet Experts and Indian Planning in the Cold War.”
The Soviet example of central economic planning came up frequently amid discussions over India’s economic future in the last years of colonial India, and even more so in the first decades of independent India. With the arrival of the first Soviet economic experts in India in the mid-1950s, the Soviet example became even more important—and also the subject of increasingly intense public and private debate. Using archival and published material from India and Russia, “Separated by a Common Language” examines the fraught relationship between Soviet and Indian experts—and what the tensions meant for both Soviet and Indian history.
David C. Engerman is Ottilie Springer Professor of History at Brandeis University, where he has taught international history and modern American history since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1998. His Berkeley dissertation, revised, appeared as Modernization from the Other Shore: American Intellectuals and the Romance of Russian Development (Harvard, 2003); it won the Stuart Bernath and Akira Iriye Prizes and was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. He has also published Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts (Oxford, 2009), edited a new edition of The God That Failed (Columbia, 2003) and co-edited two sets of essays on modernization and development programs. Engerman was named a “Top Young Historian” by the History News Network and was awarded the Bernath Lectureship by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations; his Bernath lecture appeared in Diplomatic History as “American Knowledge and Global Power.” Building on his earlier scholarship on American programs of development aid, his current project is “Planning for Plenty: The Economic Cold War in India” (under contract to Harvard University Press).
Part of the LSA Theme Semester “India in the World.”