Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 31
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
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Robert Tucker

James J. Donahue

Marjorie K. Berger

Robert Tucker

Robert Tucker, a Princeton University professor emeritus of politics who was an authority on the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, and Marxism, died July 29 of pneumonia at his home in Princeton. He was 92.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he left home for Harvard University where he earned his doctorate in philosophy. He joined the Office of Strategic Services and in 1944 travelled to Moscow as a press attaché under Ambassador Averell Harriman. There, he analyzed the Soviet press for the State Department. In Moscow, he became Chief Editor of the Joint Press Reading Service run by the Americans, British, and Canadians that translated the daily Soviet press. He meant to stay in Moscow only two years. Almost immediately upon arriving, however, he met his future wife, Evgeniya Pestretsova at the opera, and they married in 1946, but she was denied an exit visa until Stalin’s death in 1953. In 1958, he accompanied former Democratic presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson, to Moscow as his translator.

In 1962, after working as a researcher at the Rand Corp. and teaching at Indiana University, he joined the Politics Department at Princeton to create its Russian studies program. As a member of the Princeton faculty from 1962 to 1984, he was remembered by colleagues and family as intense about his work, and warm in his personal relationships.

Working in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for nine years during Stalin’s rule, he developed a deep understanding of the country that informed his scholarship and teaching for decades. George F. Kennan called him “one of the great students of Stalin and Stalinism.” He published two seminal biographies of Stalin, Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929 (1973) and Stalin in Power: The Revolution From Above, 1928-1941 (1990). His works on Marx are still widely read; he wrote Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx (1961) and The Marxian Revolutionary Idea (1969), and he edited The Marx-Engels Reader (1972).

He is survived by his wife, Evgeniya; his daughter, Liza Tucker of Los Angeles; his sister, Marilyn Goldman of Kansas City; and two grandchildren.

A campus memorial service is being planned for the fall.

Donations in his memory can be made to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, 4 Newhams Row, London SE1 3UZ; Marie Stopes International, 1 Conway St., Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6LP; or the Centre for Development and Population Activities, 1133 21st St. N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036.

James J. Donahue

James J. Donahue

James J. Donahue, 89, of Princeton, died July 26 at his home.

Born in the Bronx, he moved to Garden City, Long Island as a young boy. He went through the Garden City school system and then went on to Lehigh University.

Mr. Donahue volunteered for U.S. Navy flight training and won his wings in Pensacola, Fla. As a dive-bomber pilot for the U.S. Marines, he logged over 50 missions and over 200 combat flying hours in the Pacific theatre, earning nine medals.

After the war, he worked in the textile industry for West Point-Pepperell, Inc. He also spent two years working in poor parishes in Kansas before moving back to New York where he worked for Burlington Industries until retirement.

Mr. Donahue volunteered in Southbury, Conn. as a zoning board member and middle school mentor. He also worked for Maryknoll Missionary Society to help with fundraising.

In 2008, Mr. Donahue moved to Princeton to be near his son’s family.

Mr. Donahue is survived by his wife, Evelyn; his son, Jim; his daughters, Andrea and Christina; and three grandchildren.

Marjorie K. Berger

Marjorie K. Berger, 79, of Princeton, died July 29 at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Born in Queens, N.Y., she attended Queens College and was a graduate of the Katharine Gibbs School in New York City.

Mrs. Berger was employed as an administrative officer for 20 years by the non-profit organization, Princeton Project 55.

She was a member of the Kingston Presbyterian Church, Princeton Friends of the Opera, Princeton Public Library, and the Auxiliary of the University Medical Center of Princeton.

The wife of the late Ronald Berger, she is survived by her daughter, Deborah Liwosz of Pennington; her son, Gregory Berger of South Brunswick; and five grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on August 21 at Kingston Presbyterian Church, 4561State Highway 27, Kingston.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Princeton Project 55, 12 Stockton Street, Princeton. 609-921-8808.

Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

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