Andrew Jenks

Andrew Jenks, Ph.D.

Image of Andrew JenksTitle:
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Stanford University, M.A. University of Michigan, B.A. Bucknell University
Contact Information:
562 985-8759
Office: FO2-122
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601

I specialize in the history of modern Europe, Russia, environment, and science. I published a book on disasters in 2010, entitled Perils of Progress, that examines four large-scale environmental and technological tragedies in the twentieth century. This book was based on case studies that I had incorporated into my classes on history of technology, science, and environment. My most recent book (The Cosmonaut Who Couldn’t Stop Smiling: the Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin) explores modern Soviet and Russian history through the life and times of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. My recent research has led me into the archives of NASA courtesy of a grant from NASA and the American Historical Association. I am examining the period of the late Cold War and détente through the history of joint manned space flight missions, beginning with the Apollo-Soyuz space venture of 1975.

Research Interests

Soviet Union, technology and the environment. I began my research on Russian national identity, the subject of my first monograph. I have since branched out into new areas. My newest book compares the social, cultural and political effects of modern environmental and technological disasters at Chernobyl (USSR), Bhopal (India), Love Canal (United States), and Minamata (Japan). I am currently working on a book about the first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.


Ph.D. Stanford University
M.A. University of Michigan
B.A. Bucknell University

Selected Publications

  • The Perils of Progress: Environmental Disasters in the Twentieth Century. Prentice-Hall. 2010.
  • Russia in a Box: Art and Identity in an Age of Revolution. Northern Illinois University Press. 2005.
  • “Thinking Inside and Outside the Box: The Paradoxes of the Palekh Lacquer,” in Palekh — Icons to Souvenir Boxes to Icons (Washington, D.C.: Art Alliance LLC, 2008), 4-15.
  • “Model City USA: The Environmental Cost of Victory in World War II and the Cold War.” Environmental History 12. July 2007: 552-77.|
  • “The Art Market and the Construction of Soviet Russian Culture,” in Lewis Siegelbaum, ed., Borders of Socialism: The Private Sphere in the Soviet Union. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 47-65.
  • “Iconography, Power, and Expertise in Imperial Russia,” The Donald W. Treadgold Papers in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies no. 42 (June 2004).
  • “Palekh and the Forging of a Russian Nation in the Brezhnev Era.” Cahiers du monde Russe, vol. 44 (October-December 2003): 629-656.
  • “From Center to Periphery: Palekh and Indigenization in the Russian Heartland, 1917-1933,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 3 (Summer 2002): 427-58.
  • “A Metro on the Mount: The Underground as a Church of Soviet Civilization.” Technology and Culture, vol. 41 (October 2000): 697-724..