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Birman (Igor) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Igor Birman papers
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2009
    Collection Number: 2019C138
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In Russian and English
    Physical Description: 7 manuscript boxes,1 oversize box, 3 sound cassettes, digital media (4 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Igor Yakovlevich Birman was a Russian-American economist who predicted in 1981 the collapse of the Soviet Union, both economically and politically. The Igor Birman papers contains correspondence, writings, interviews of and by Igor Birman, materials of the Becker Commission on Soviet War Expenses and of the Foundation for Soviet Studies, conference papers, book reviews by Igor Birman, photographs, sound recordings, and clippings.
    Creator: Birman, Igorʹ I︠A︡kovlevich, 1928-2011
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2020.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Igor Birman papers, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Biographical Note

    Igor Yakovlevich Birman (July 25, 1928 – April 6, 2011) was a Russian-American economist who predicted in 1981 the collapse of the Soviet Union, both economically and politically.
    Igor Birman was born in Moscow in 1928, graduated from the Statistical Institute in 1949, and received Ph.D. in Economics in 1960. He was the Director of Planning in three factories, then worked in research institutes. Birman was a member of the commission on the economic reform (1965).
    In 1974 Birman emigrated to the United States, where was employed chiefly as a consultant on the Soviet economy for the Pentagon and taught at two universities. He disproved all basic estimates of the Soviet economy by the CIA and other sovietologists, particularly, the size of the economy, comparative level of living, share and size of military expenditures, deficit of the state budget, etc.
    For many years, Dr. Birman served as president of the Foundation for Soviet Studies and published his articles in scholarly periodicals, including the journal Russia, which he helped establish and had edited together with Valeriĭ Chalidze. He retired in the early 1990s.
    Igor Birman authored fifteen books translated into five languages and 200 articles in professional periodicals and in the popular press.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection includes vast amount of correspondence of Igor Birman with famous Soviet/Russian and American scholars; writers and journalists representing the third wave of Soviet emigration; universities, institutions and organizations; and publishers (relating to publications in Russian and English). Correspondence also includes letters relating to publishing project and publication of Birman's book, lectures, and conferences.
    Speeches and writings series includes drafts and final versions of Birman's essays on economics and politics. Of great interest are 49 prints in the Photographs series depicting Igor Birman, and his wife, Albina Birman, with scholars, politicians, writers, dissidents, etc.
    Printed matter contains mostly clippings.
    A small audiovisual series includes a video and audio interviews of Igor Birman.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Soviet Union -- Economic conditions -- 1985-1991
    Economists -- United States
    United States -- Emigration and immigration