Steklov, Iurii Mikhailovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Steklov, Iurii Mikhailovich


(also Iu. Nevzorov; real surname, Nakhamkis). Born Aug. 15 (27), 1873, in Odessa; died Sept. 15, 1941. Soviet statesman, historian, and publicist. Member of the Communist Party from 1893.

Steklov came from a petit bourgeois family and became involved in the revolutionary movement in Russia in 1888. In 1894 he was arrested and exiled to Yakutsk Oblast. In 1899 he fled abroad and there joined the social democratic literary group Bor’ba (Struggle) and worked for the Marxist journal Zaria (Dawn). He took part in the Revolution of 1905–07. After being expelled from the country in 1910, he joined the Parisian section of the Bolsheviks and worked as a lecturer at the party school in Longjumeau. From 1909 to 1914, Steklov contributed to the Bolshevik newspapers Sotsial-democrat (Social Democrat), Zvezda (The Star), Pravda, and the journal Prosveshchenie (Enlightenment). He took part in the work of the Social Democratic fraction of the Third and Fourth State Dumas. He returned to Russia in 1914.

During the February Revolution of 1917, Steklov was elected to the Executive Committee of the Petrograd soviet. He advocated the principle of revolutionary defensism, which he later repudiated. He was also an editor of the journal Novaia zhizri (New Life). He took part in the October Revolution of 1917. From October 1917 until 1925, Steklov was editor of the newspaper Izvestiia VTsIK (News of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee). Beginning in 1925, he worked as a journalist and was engaged in administrative and scholarly work. In 1929 he became deputy chairman of the Learned Committee of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR.

Steklov’s major works, The Internationals of the Years 1864–1914 (parts 1–2, 1918), Karl Marx: His Life and Work, 1818–1883 (1918), and Fighters for Socialism (parts 1–2. 1923–24), played a significant role in popularizing Marxism in the first years of Soviet power. Steklov’s most important monographs on the history of the Russian revolutionary movement are N. G. Chernyshevskii: His Life and Work (vols. 1–2, 1928) and M. A. Bakunin: His Life and Work, 1814–1876 (vols. 1–4, 1920–27). These extensively researched works and a number of Steklov’s articles on the Russian revolutionary movement remain important works of historiography, in spite of individual erroneous suppositions and evaluations.

Steklov was a delegate to the Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Party Congresses. He was a member of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR.


Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1973.
Vospominaniia i publitsistika. Moscow, 1965. (Contains bibliography.)


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 2, p. 475.)
Ocherki istorii istoricheskoi nauki v SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.