Mikhail Katkov

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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.


Lenin, V. I. “Kar’era.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 22.
Herzen, A. I. Soch., vols. 17, 18, 19. (See name index, vol. 20, pp. 413–17.)
Chernyshevskii, N. G. Polemicheskie krasoty, part 1. Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 7. Moscow, 1950.
Feoktistov, E. M. Za kulisami politiki i literatury. Leningrad, 1929.
Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Rossiiskoe samoderzhavie v kontse XIX stoletiia (politicheskaia reaktsiia 80-kh-nachala 90-kh godov). Moscow, 1970. Pages 66–74.
Istoriia russkoi literatury XIX veka: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The facts cited by Kaminski may also be the inspiration for a might-have-been history, for example, what would have happened if in Bakunin's 1840 duel with Mikhail Katkov, planned in Berlin, had come to fruition.
Tur hosted a salon in the 1840s frequented by such eminent literary and cultural figures as Vasilii Botkin, Mikhail Katkov, and Ivan Turgenev; she wrote for many of the leading journals of the day, and in 1861 edited Russkaia rech'.