Aleksei Vasilevich Peshekhonov

Peshekhonov, Aleksei Vasil’evich

 

Born Jan. 21 (Feb. 2), 1867; died Apr. 3, 1933, in Riga. Russian statistician, publicist, and political figure.

In the 1890’s, Peshekhonov was a liberal Narodnik (Populist). He compiled statistics for zemstvos (district and provincial assemblies) in several provinces and published a number of statistical abstracts. He was a contributor to the journal Russkoe bogatstvo (Russian Wealth) and became a member of its editorial board in 1904. He also contributed to the liberal-bourgeois journal Osvobozhdenie (Liberation) and the Socialist Revolutionary newspapers Revoliutsionnaia Rossiia (Revolutionary Russia) and Syn Otechestva (Son of the Fatherland). He helped found the Popular Socialist Party in 1906 and became one of its leaders. After the Popular Socialists merged with the Trudoviks (Toilers group) in June 1917, he served on the central committee of the Trudovik Popular Socialist Party and published the party newspaper Narodnoe slovo (The People’s Word). He argued the need for bourgeois nationalization of the land—conversion of land into the property of the people, with a transfer of rent to the state. After the February Revolution of 1917, he became a member of the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies and a member of the council of the central land committee. From May through August 1917, Peshekhonov was the Provisional Government’s minister of food supply, later becoming deputy chairman of the Preparliament.

After the October Revolution of 1917, Peshekhonov fought against Soviet power. He joined the counterrevolutionary Union for the Rebirth of Russia and was the union’s representative in the White Guard’s Volunteer Army. Expelled from Russia in 1922 for counterrevolutionary activity, he lived in Riga, Prague, and Berlin. He repeatedly petitioned the Soviet government for permission to return to Russia. In 1927, he became a consultant to the Soviet trade delegation in the Baltic region. He was buried in Leningrad.

Peshekhonov was the author of The Agrarian Problem and the Peasant Movement, The Village’s Land Needs and the Basic Tasks of Agrarian Reform, and numerous articles in journals and pamphlets.

D. A. KOLESNICHENKO