Photo of Harlow in a suit and orange shirt

HARLOW ROBINSON is an author, lecturer and Matthews Distinguished University Professor of History, Emeritus, at Northeastern University. His books include Russians in Hollywood, Hollywood’s Russians; Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography; Selected Letters of Sergei Prokofiev; The Last Impresario: The Life, Times and Legacy of Sol Hurok; and Lewis Milestone: Life and Films. His articles, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Opera News, Musical America, Cineaste, San Francisco Chronicle, Stagebill and other publications.  


As a lecturer, he has appeared at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Boston Symphony, Lincoln Center, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Bard Festival, Carnegie Hall, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Boston Lyric Opera and Los Angeles Music Center Opera, among others. He has provided commentary and programming for NPR, PBS, the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles, after Harlow’s Academy Film Scholar lecture there on his new book on Lewis Milestone, March 9, 2020

He has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, IREX, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Whiting Foundation, and has made 27 trips to Russia and the former USSR since 1970. In 2010, he was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Upcoming Course

Harlow’s course combines three fascinating and interconnected stories. One follows the waves of Russian emigres who came to Hollywood after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and made major contributions to the film industry as actors, directors, composers and designers. Another examines the significant impact of the vicissitudes of the crucial American-Soviet geo-political relationship on Hollywood production. Finally, we will consider some of the many Hollywood movies that represent Russians and Russia, from comedies like Ninotchka and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming to epics like Doctor Zhivago and Anastasia to Cold War thrillers like From Russia with Love and The Hunt for Red October. Lectures and discussion will focus on dominant themes in a basically chronological context.


Register at Berkeley OLLI

Harlow is available for lecture engagements, writing assignments and consultations to authors and journalists on biographical and performing arts projects.