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Borg, Dorothy (1902–1993) - East Asian History

american relations institute columbia

Dorothy Borg was born on September 4, 1902, in Elberon, New Jersey, to Sidney C., a banker, and Madeleine (Beer) Borg. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1923 and obtained a master’s degree in 1931 and a doctorate in 1946 at Columbia University. She became a researcher at Harvard University, and during the 1960s she helped organize programs that trained scholars in American and East Asian history. Borg spent two years in Beijing and Shanghai as a staff member of the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations. The institute was targeted by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy to find out “who lost China” to the Communists, and Borg helped defend Owen Lattimore, a fellow historian, against the senator’s attacks.

In 1965 Dorothy Borg published United States and the Far Eastern Crisis of 1933–1938 and was awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History by Columbia. From 1966 until her retirement, she was senior research associate at Columbia’s East Asian Institute. In 1973 she published Pearl Harbor as History: Japanese-American Relations 1931–1941 , followed by Uncertain Years: Chinese American Relations, 1947–1950 , co-authored with Waldo Henrichs. Dorothy Borg was ninety-one years old when she died on October 21, 1993.

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