Remembering Tom Shaw as Teacher, Scholar, Mentor
David M. Bethea
The thing I remember most about Tom Shaw over the years is his generosity, his willingness to do the “heavy lifting” without commenting on it. Perhaps it has something to do with coming from a modest background, going through the Second World War, being the “go-to guy” when the profession was establishing itself in the 1950s during the Sputnik era. We all know that Tom took great pride in being a rigorous scholar, someone who would insist that his own work and the work of colleagues meet certain standards. He always said he wanted our work to be looked on seriously by colleagues in Russia/the Soviet Union. And in this connection one of the things he was most proud of was the splash made in Russia by his discovery of the “Mniszek sonnet” in Boris Godunov. His edition of Pushkin’s letters is truly a foundational text we all come back to again and again to learn things about Pushkin’s life and affairs.