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Zhores, Not Jaures

In response to:

I. F. Stone Reports: Betrayal by Psychiatry from the February 10, 1972 issue

To the Editors:

May I congratulate I. F. Stone on the scholarly and penetrating article in the [February 10] New York Review. I would like, however, to ask him on what authority his first footnote is based? Medvedev has always himself spelled his name when using the Latin alphabet as Zhores. Not only that, but he told me personally that his name had absolutely nothing to do with Jean Jaurès. In fact, as you may know, in the middle Twenties it was a commonplace occurrence in the Soviet Union to provide children with fanciful made-up names. Zhores was originally called Pe$$$c (Rays is a phonetic transliteration, or Reys, following the system I used in translating Medvedev’s Lysenko book). His brother’s name (although in this case it is only my conjecture) has probably nothing to do with the Indian communist, but rather is based on the Russian word for “dig.”

Zhores told me that his changed name derives from a family joke of some kind and is actually an acronym. However, he did not choose to give me any details. I am now asking him for further elucidation, simply because I am beginning to be tired of being uninformedly criticized for an allegedly erroneous transliteration of his name.

I. Michael Lerner

Institute of Personality Assessment and Research

University of California

Berkeley, California

I.F Stone replies:

I guess I was wrong.

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