Katkov, Mikhail

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Katkov, Mikhail Niklforovich


Born Nov. 1 (13), 1818, in Moscow; died July 20 (Aug.l), 1887, in the village of Znamenskoe, in present-day Lenin Raion, Moscow Oblast. Russian journalist and publicist.

The son of a minor civil servant, Katkov graduated from Moscow University in 1838 and attended lectures at the University of Berlin in 1840 and 1841. In the 1830’s he was a member of the N. V. Stankevich circle and was close to V. G. Belinskii, A. I. Herzen, and M. A. Bakunin. He worked on Moskovskii nabliudateV in 1838 and 1839 and on Otechestvennye zapiski from 1839 to 1841. In the early 1840’s, Katkov broke his old literary connections. Although in the 1840’s and 1850’s Katkov had been a liberal and admired the British political system, by the early 1860’s he had become a stark reactionary. Editor of the newspaper Moskovskie vedomosti from 1850 to 1855 and from 1863 to 1887 and publisher of the journal Russkii vestnik from 1856 to 1887, Katkov became one of the most influential publicists. In 1863, after the uprising in Poland, he joined the camp of the reactionary nobility, championing nationalism and chauvinism and heaping slander upon the democratic movement and progressive literature. A. I. Herzen, N. G. Chernyshevskii, and M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin fought against Katkov, who was the behind-the-scenes instigator of the reactionary policies of Alexander Ill’s government.


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