Richard Edgar Pipes (born July 11, 1923)
Is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union, who espoused a strong anti-communist point of view throughout his career. In 1976 he headed Team B, a team of analysts organized by the Central Intelligence Agency who analyzed the strategic capacities and goals of the Soviet military and political leadership. Pipes is the father of American historian and expert on American foreign policy and the Middle East, Daniel Pipes.
Richard Pipes was born in Cieszyn, Poland to an assimilated Jewish family (whose name had originally been spelled "Piepes"). His father Marek was a businessman and a Polish legionnaire. By Pipes's own account, during his childhood and youth, he never thought about the Soviet Union; the major cultural influences on him were Polish and German. When he was age 16, Pipes laid eyes upon Adolf Hitler at Marszałkowska Street in Warsaw when Hitler made a victory tour after the Invasion of Poland. The Pipes family fled occupied Poland in October 1939 and arrived in the United States in July 1940, after seven months passing through Italy. Pipes became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1943 while serving in the United States Army Air Corps. He was educated at Muskingum College, Cornell University, and Harvard University. He married Irene Eugenia Roth in 1946, and had two children with her. His son Daniel Pipes is a scholar of Middle Eastern affairs.
Pipes taught at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. He was the director of Harvard's Russian Research Center from 1968 to 1973 and is now Baird Professor Emeritus of History at Harvard University. In 1962 he delivered a series of lectures on Russian intellectual history at Leningrad State University. He acted as senior consultant at the Stanford Research Institute from 1973 to 1978. During the 1970s, he was an advisor to Washington Senator Henry M. Jackson. In 1981 and 1982 he served as a member of the National Security Council, holding the post of Director of East European and Soviet Affairs under President Ronald Reagan. Pipes was a member of the Committee on the Present Danger from 1977 until 1992 and belongs to the Council of Foreign Relations. In the 1970s, Pipes was a leading critic of détente, which he described as "inspired by intellectual indolence and based on ignorance of one's antagonist and therefore inherently inept".