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The Russian Revolution Comes to Stanford: Alexander Kerensky on Campus


Bertrand M. Patenaude, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Alexander Kerensky was the charismatic leader of the Provisional Government that held a tenuous grip on power in Russia between the fall of the Romanovs in February 1917 and the storming to power of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Kerensky first visited Stanford in 1955 and spent much of the next ten years on campus, conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives, teaching seminars, giving guest lectures, and appearing on panel discussions devoted to the latest developments in the USSR. He left lasting impressions on Stanford students and faculty—and is even alleged to have carved his initials into a table at the Oasis. Dr. Patenaude, a Stanford History PhD, discussed Kerensky's sojourn on the Farm and attempted to separate fact from fiction.

You may also enjoy listening to "Morning Walks with Alexander Kerensky," the recollections by Dottie Walters, '57 of her relationship with Alexander Kerensky. Walters's oral history was conducted as part of the 2007 Alumni Stories by the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program.