Bogucharskii, V.

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bogucharskii, V.


also B. Bazilevskii, (pseudonyms of Vasilii Iakovlevich Iakovlev,. Born Feb. 19 (Mar. 3), 1861, in Boguchar, Voronezh Province; died May 8 (21), 1915, in Petrograd. Historian of the revolutionary movement in Russia.

Bogucharskii graduated from the Konstantin Military Academy in St. Petersburg in 1880 and served with the cossack troops. He was deported to Siberia in 1884 for his connection with People’s Will military circles, and he was sent to forced settlement in Yakutia until 1890 for participation in the protest of the deportees. While he at first sympathized with People’s Will and People’s Right, he shifted to legal Marxism and then became a prominent figure of the liberal camp. He collected and published valuable sources on the history of the revolutionary movement from the 1860’s to the 1880’s—State Crimes in Russia in the 19th Century (vol. 1, Government Communications for 1825–76; vols. 2 and 3, Trials of Populists in 1877, Stuttgart, Paris, 1903–05)—and three volumes of appendices, containing materials of the clandestine press (Materials for the History of the Revolutionary Movement in Russia in the 1860’s, Revolutionary Journalism of the 1870’s, Literature of the People’s Will Party, Paris, 1905). All this was republished in Russia in St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don in 1906. In 1906–07 he published, jointly with P. E. Shchegolev and V. L. Burtsev, the journal Byloe (The Past), which printed source materials on the Russian revolutionary movement, and, after the journal was closed in 1908, Minuvshie gody (Bygone Years). He was exiled from the country in 1909 on the Byloe case and returned to Russia in 1913. Bogucharskii’s main works were published in that period: Active Narodnichestvo of the 1870’s (1912) and From the History of the Political Struggle in the 1870’s and 1880’s: The People’s Will Party, its Origin, Fate and Demise (1912). Bogucharskii was successful in systematically illuminating the development of the revolutionary-democratic movement, describing the history of the formation of underground circles and of populist organizations and analyzing the main ideological currents of revolutionary thought. His books have retained a scholarly value to the present day. Bogucharskii made several cardinal errors in the appraisal of Narodnichestvo (Populism): he exaggerated the closeness of the ideology of revolutionary populism to that of the Slavophiles and analyzed the causes of the “going to the people” from an idealistic point of view; at the same time Bogucharskii also condemned the apoliticism of Narodnichestvo and “social utopianism” and saw “political realism” in the struggle of People’s Will for a democratic constitution.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.