Tarle, Evgenii Viktorovich
Born Oct. 27 (Nov. 8), 1875, in Kiev; died Jan. 5, 1955, in Moscow. Soviet historian. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1927).
In 1896, Tarle graduated from the faculty of history and philology at the University of Kiev, where he was a student of I. V. Luchitskii. From 1903 to 1917 he was a privatdocent at the University of St. Petersburg. He was a professor at the University of Iur’ev from 1913 to 1918. Beginning in 1917 he was a professor at the University of Petrograd, and later at Leningrad State University and Moscow State University.
In the year preceding the Revolution of 1905–07, Tarle wrote works on such historical figures as Royer-Collard, G. Canning, C. Parnell, L. Gambetta, and Lord Rosebery. His master’s dissertation, which he defended in 1901 in Kiev, was an analysis of T. More’s Utopia. Under the influence of the Revolution of 1905–07, Tarle was the first historian of the Russian school to focus on the history of the working class. In 1911 he defended his doctoral dissertation, The Working Class in France During the Revolutionary Epoch (vols. 1–2,1909–11).
Tarle’s fundamental works The Continental Blockade (1913) and The Economic Life of the Kingdom of Italy During the Reign of Napoleon I (1916) were the first to draw on the numerous documents in the Paris, London, and Hague archives. Tarle demonstrated that the continental blockade had not justified the hopes that Napoleon had placed in it.
The October Revolution of 1917, whose significance Tarle did not at first understand, marked the beginning of the most important period of his work. His book Europe in the Age of Imperialism (1927) was based on extensive source materials. In spite of its questionable and even erroneous theories, the work was the first attempt to interpret the background and events of World War I (1914–18) from a historical viewpoint. Of great scholarly significance were Tarle’s works on the revolutionary struggle of the French working class, including The Working Class in France During the Early Period of Machine Production: From the End of the Empire to the Workers’ Uprising in Lyon (1928) and Germinal and Prairial (1937). Beginning in the 1930’s, Tarle again wrote works on historical figures, including Napoleon (1936) and Talleyrand (1939). He also collaborated on the collective works The French Bourgeois Revolution of 1789–1794 and The History of Diplomacy, and on textbooks for higher educational institutions.
On the eve of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) and during the war, Tarle wrote important patriotic works on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and on Nakhimov, Ushakov, and Kutuzov; he also completed his study The Crimean War (vols. 1–2, 1941–43). Tarle’s major scholarly achievements were combined with important publicist and propagandist works, such as lectures and articles for the press. Tarle received the State Prize of the USSR in 1942, 1943, and 1946. He was awarded three orders of Lenin and two others orders.
WORKSSoch., vols. 1–12. Moscow, 1957–62.
REFERENCESE. V. Tarle. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Iz istorii obshchestvennykh dvizhenii i mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii: Sb. st. vpamiat’ akad. E. V. Tarle. Moscow, 1957.
Chapkevich, E. I. “Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ E. V. Tarle v dorevoliut-sionnyi period.” In the collection Nekotorye problemy klassovoi bor’by v period kapitalizma. Moscow, 1966.
Chapkevich, E. I. “O zhizni i deiatel’nosti E. V. Tarle v sovetskii period.” In the collection Nekotorye voprosy istorii SSSR. Moscow, 1967.
A. Z. MANFRED