David Borisovich Riazanov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Riazanov, David Borisovich


(real surname Gol’dendakh). Born Mar. 10, 1870, in Odessa; died Jan. 21, 1938. Russian revolutionary.

Riazanov began his revolutionary work in 1887 in Odessa and St. Petersburg. For many years he lived abroad. He became a Menshevik after the Second Congress of the RSDLP. From 1905 to 1907 he worked in the Social Democratic fraction of the State Duma and the trade unions. In 1911 he lectured at the Party School in Longjumeau. On the instructions of the German Social Democrats, he worked on the publication of the works of K. Marx and F. Engels (two volumes were published in 1916) and the history of the First International.

After the February Revolution of 1917, Riazanov became a member of the Mezhraionnaia Organization, which subsequently joined the Bolshevik Party. He was active in trade union work. After the October Revolution of 1917 he supported the creation of a coalition government that would also include Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries. In 1918, Riazanov left the Party because of differences over the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. In the discussion on trade unions of 1920 and 1921 he came out with an anti-Party platform and was dismissed from trade union work.

Riazanov was director of the Marx-Engels Institute from 1921 to 1931. He was editor of the first editions of the works of K. Marx and F. Engels, G. V. Plekhanov, and G. Hegel. He was a delegate to the Seventh through Sixteenth Congresses of the Party. Riazanov was expelled from the ACP(B) in February 1931 for his ties with the Menshevik center abroad.

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