Nikolai Klestov

Klestov, Nikolai Semenovich


(party pseudonym, Angarskii). Born Dec. 6 (18), 1873, in Smolensk. Died July 27, 1941. Russian revolutionary figure and man of letters. Member of the Communist Party (1902).

Klestov was the son of a bookstore owner. He was expelled from the Gymnasium for possession of revolutionary literature. From 1904 he did party work in Ekaterinodar, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinoslav, Kharkov, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. He participated in the Revolution of 1905–07. In Moscow he set up Bolshevik presses and the semilegal bookstore Vesna. He sponsored publication of Marx’ Das Kapital (1907–09). Together with M. S. Kedrov, he issued collections from the publishing house Zerno of V. I. Lenin’s works In the Course of Twelve Years and The Agrarian Question (part 1). They also issued a series of Social Democratic pamphlets called Books for Everyone and the Calendar for Everyone for 1908. Subjected to official persecution, Klestov spent time in exile in the Angara River area.

After the February Revolution of 1917, Klestov became a member of the Moscow Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolshevik). He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviet and director of its press section. He was a delegate to the Seventh (April) Conference and Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B). He participated in the October armed uprising in Moscow and was a member of the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Khamovniki district. He worked in the Moscow Soviet until 1929, acting simultaneously as editor of the journal Tvorchestvo (1919–22), editor of the literary collections Nedra (1922–24), and head of the publishing house Nedra (1924–29). He was trade representative for the USSR in Lithuania from 1929 to 1931 and in Greece from 1932 to 1936. In 1936 he became chairman of the All-Union foreign book trade association Mezhdunarodnaia Kniga. In 1939 he began working at the Institute of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Klestov was the author of works on party history, the history of the revolutionary movement, and literary criticism.


Berezhnoi, A. F., and S. V. Smirnov. Boitsy revoliutsii. Leningrad, 1969.