Moore, Barrington

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Moore, Barrington

Barrington Moore, 1913–, American sociologist and political scientist. Moore has written a number of books on historical sociology that focus on Soviet society. Based at the Russian Research Center at Harvard, he published Soviet Politics: The Dilemma of Power (1950) and Terror and Progress: USSR (1954), both of which established the foundations of a political sociology of Soviet power. His best-known work is Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966), a masterpiece of comparative methodology that uses both Marxian and Weberian analysis and inspired similar studies in the sociology of historical processes. His other writings include Political Power and Social Theory (1958), Reflections on the Causes of Human Misery (1973), and Injustice (1978).

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