Sergei Nikolaevich Krivenko

Krivenko, Sergei Nikolaevich


Born Jan. 20 (Feb. 1), 1847, in Borisoglebsk, in present-day Voronezh Oblast; died June 5 (18), 1906, in Tuapse. Russian publicist and Narodnik (Populist).

Of gentry origin, Krivenko graduated from the Pavel Military School in St. Petersburg in 1867. From 1873 to 1883 he developed the program and tactics of Populism in the journal Otechestvennye zapiski. His article “New Shoots in the People’s Fields” (1879), said V. I. Lenin, “graphically sets forth the progressive aspects of Populism as against Russian liberalism” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1, p. 354). Krivenko advocated the principle of the people’s sovereign right to all the land, opposed measures leading to a further alienation of land from the peasantry and to the growth of a rural bourgeoisie, and proposed a Utopian program of creating cooperative enterprises equipped with modern machinery that would be able to compete with large-scale capitalist production.

After drawing closer to the People’s Will group in 1879, Krivenko wrote for underground publications, advocated terrorism and political struggle, and proposed a temporary alliance with the liberals in the struggle against autocracy. In 1880–82 he helped found the writers’ associations that published the journals Russkoe bogatstvo and Ustoi. In 1882–83 he was a member of the St. Petersburg Center, which tried to revive the People’s Will. Arrested in 1884, Krivenko was exiled first to Viatka Province and then to Tobol’sk Province. Upon returning from exile in 1890, Krivenko joined the right wing of liberal Populism and became an editor of Russkoe bogatstvo (1891–95) and Novoe slovo (1896–97). Lenin criticized his advocacy of legal activity by “cultured individuals.” Krivenko wrote memoirs about I. S. Turgenev and M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin and the first biography of Saltykov-Shchedrin (1891).


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1911.


Lenin, V. I. “Chto takoe ‘druz’ia naroda’ i kak oni voiuiut protiv sotsialdemokratov?” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1.
Lenin, V. I. “Ekonomicheskoe soderzhanie narodnichestva i kritika ego v knige g. Struve.” Ibid.
Valk, S. N. “S. N. Krivenko v nelegal’noi literature.” In the collection Iz istorii rabochego klassa i revoliutsionnogo dvizhenia. Moscow, 1958.