Meyer Chessin Interview, September 15, 2006


Meyer Chessin


David Brooks



Download Audio Interview (89.7 MB)

Download Transcript of Meyer Chessin interview (392 KB)


Professor Emeritus Meyer Chessin describes his childhood in a Russian Jewish immigrant family living in the Bronx in New York City, New York, during the early 20th century. He tells of attending the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of California-Berkeley, and Ohio State University during the Great Depression and World War Two (WWII). He talks about his social and political activism during his tenure from 1949 to 1990 at the University of Montana focusing on issues such as the use of herbicides, pollution, the Vietnam War, and atomic testing. Chessin describes political meetings run by English Department faculty and attended by professors such as Leslie Fiedler, Mel Wren, “Smoky” Joe Kramer, and Burt Pfeiffer. He reminisces about the challenges of being Jewish in Montana. Chessin discusses some of the research projects conducted in the Botany Department during his tenure. He concludes by mentioning the changes to the University from the mid to late 20th century including growth and funding.


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Document Type

Oral History


Botany Department, University of Montana; Leslie Fiedler; Mel Wren; “Smoky” Joe Kramer; and Burt Pfeiffer; World War (1939-1945); Great Depression

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

University of Montana Oral History Project, OH 408, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 408-005

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound file (1:37:55 min.) : digital, + 1 transcript (34 p. : 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

1:37:55 minutes

Local Filename

oh 408-05.mp3; OH408-005.pdf

Meyer Chessin Interview, September 15, 2006