Nikolai Baranskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Baranskii, Nikolai Nikolaevich


Born July 15 (27), 1881, in Tomsk; died Nov. 29, 1963, in Moscow. Soviet economic geographer. Participant in the revolutionary movement. Public figure. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939). Professor at Moscow State University (from 1929) and other institutions of higher learning in Moscow. Honored Scientist of the RSFSR (1943). Hero of Socialist Labor (1962). Member of the Communist Party from 1898, with an interruption from 1917 to 1920, during which time he was a Menshevik Internationalist.

In 1901, while a student at the University of Tomsk, Baranskii led a student political strike, for which he was expelled from the university. He was a member of the Siberian Social Democratic Alliance from 1903. He carried on party work in Ekaterinburg, Samara, and Kiev and participated actively in the revolutionary events of 1905–07 in Krasnoiarsk, Chita, and other cities. In 1905 he participated in the Tammerfors Conference of the RSDLP. He was arrested repeatedly. He graduated from the Moscow Commercial Institute in 1914.

From 1921 to 1925, Baranskii was a member of the board of the People’s Commissariat of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection. He began to study economic geography in 1918 and was the initiator of the regional current in Marxist economic geography. He founded subdepartments of economic geography in a number of institutions of higher learning, including Moscow University. Through his active participation, a department of geography was established at Moscow University. Baranskii wrote a number of textbooks on the economic geography of the USSR; a textbook for the eighth grade has run into 16 editions since 1935 (State Prize of the USSR, 1952). He was also the author of basic works on the theory and methodology of economic geography and economic cartography. He worked out a number of questions connected with economic regionalization and the geographic division of labor as a spatial form of the social division of labor. He created a new branch of Soviet economic geography—the geography of cities—and established the methodological principles of Soviet area studies. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and medals.


Ekonomicheskaia geografiia Sovetskogo Soiuza: Obzor po oblastiam Gosplana. Moscow, 1927.
Ekonomicheskaia geografiia SShA, part 1. Moscow, 1946.
Ocherki po shkol’noi metodike ekonomicheskoi geografii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1954.
Ekonomicheskaia geografiia.—Ekonomicheskaia kartografiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1960.
Ekonomicheskaia geografiia v srednei shkole.—Ekonomicheskaia geografiia v vysshei shkole. Moscow, 1957.
Metodika prepodavaniia ekonomicheskoi geografii. Moscow, 1960.
Ekonomicheskaia kartografiia. Moscow, 1962 (with A. I. Preo-brazhenskii).


Saushkin, Iu. G. “Nikolai Nikolaevich Baranskii.” In Ekonomicheskaia geografiia v SSSR. Moscow, 1965. (Contains a bibliography of main works and references about Baranskii.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.