Nikolai Vasilevich Sokolov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sokolov, Nikolai Vasil’evich


Born Nov. 16 (28), 1835, in St. Petersburg; died Feb. 21 (Mar. 5), 1889, in Paris. Russian revolutionary and publicist.

A nobleman by birth, Sokolov graduated from the Academy of the General Staff in 1857. In 1861 and 1862 he was active in a revolutionary circle of officers. In 1863 he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Sokolov’s views combined elements of Proudhonism and Christian socialism. In 1862,1863, and 1865, Sokolov contributed to the journal Russkoe Slovo (Russian Word) and, in his articles on economics, which were reprinted in part in his book Economic Questions and Journalism (1866), gave a Proudhonist critique of capitalism and bourgeois political economists. From 1863 to 1865 he lived in Dresden and Paris. In 1864 he wrote, in German, the book Social Revolution (1868), in which he predicted the “introduction of communism” as a result of the impending victory of the popular revolution. In 1866 he was arrested in connection with the D. V. Karakozov affair.

Sokolov’s book The Apostates (1866), which consisted of historical essays on those who sought to change the unjust social order, was confiscated by the censors and destroyed (a second edition was published in Zurich in 1872 for purposes of revolutionary propaganda), and in 1867 and 1868, Sokolov was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. In 1868 he was exiled to Arkhangel’sk Province and subsequently to Astrakhan Province. In 1872, with help from the Chaikovtsy, members of a revolutionary Populist organization, he fled abroad. There he joined the Bakuninists and contributed to the journal Obshchee delo (Common Cause).


Koz’min, B. P. “N. V. Sokolov: Ego zhizn’ i literaturnaia deiatel’nost’.” In his book Literatura i istoriia. Moscow, 1969.
Kuznetsov, F. F. “N. Sokolov.” In his book Publitsisty 1860-kh gg.: Krug “Russkogoslova.” Moscow, 1969.
Leikina-Svirskaia, V. R. “Utopicheskii sotsialist 60-kh godov N. V. Sokolov.” In Revoliutsionnaia situatsiia v Rossii v 1859–1861.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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