Personal and political networks in 1917: Vladimir Zenzinov and the Socialist Revolutionary Party

In: Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography
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  • 1 University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

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This article explores the place of individuals, ideologies and personal and political networks in shaping the larger political landscape in revolutionary Russia. The shape and culture of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (psr) will be at the heart of my analysis of coalition politics. I focus particularly on the personal and political networks surrounding Vladimir Mikhailovich Zenzinov during 1917. This analysis suggests that the shape of coalition politics in 1917 was defined in part by pre-revolutionary social and political networks, and that these to some extent transcended party political affiliations. While the nature of coalition politics necessitated this political fluidity, it is nevertheless worth emphasizing, because the discourse around 1917 is often framed along explicitly party political lines.

  • 6

    Chernov, ‘Tipy kapitalistecheskoi i agrarnoi evoliutsii’, Russkoe bogatstvo no. 10 (1900): 251–56; Chernov, ‘K voprosu o kapatilisticheskoi i agrarnoi evoliutsii’ Russkoe bogatstvo no. 11 (1900): 259.

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  • 10

    Michael Melancon, “‘Marching together!’ Left bloc activities in the Russian revolutionary movement, 1900– February 1917,” Slavic Review no. 2 (1990): 239–52; “Soldiers, peasant-­soldiers, and peasant-workers and their organisations in Petrograd: Ground level revolution during the early months of 1917,” Soviet and Post Soviet Review no. 3 (1996): 161–90; “The sr Party, 1917–1920,” in Critical Companion to the Russian Revolution, ed. Edward Acton, V. U. Cherniaev, and William G. Rosenberg, The sr Party, 1917–1920 (London, 1997), 281–90; M. I. Leonov, psr v 1907–1914 gg. (Moscow, 1997); K. N. Morozov, Partiia sotsialistov-revoliutsionerov v 1907–1914gg. (Moscow, 1998).

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  • 17

    Gavronsky emigrated in 1918, and became a professor of Philosophy at Berlin University. (L. G. Protasov, Liudi Uchreditel’nogo sobraniia: portret v inter’ere epokhi (Moscow, 2008), 277.)

  • 20

    Hildermeier, The Russian Socialist Revolutionary Party before the First World War, 254.

  • 24

    Ia. A. Leon’tev, “Personal’nyi sostav Ts.K. partii levykh eserov (problemy rekonstruktsii),” Otechestvennaya istoriia no. 2 (2007): 121–39.

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  • 28

    Zenzinov papers, box 13, p. 79; see also Perezhitoe, 303.

  • 31

    Radkey, The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, 461.

  • 33

     See Smith, Captives of Revolution: the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918–1923, xiv–xv.

  • 36

    Vladimir Zenzinov, “Podzhigateli,” Delo naroda no. 125, August 12, 1917.

  • 40

    Haefner, “Die Partei der Linken Sozialrevoliutionare,” 65–66. G. Anoprieva and N. Erofeev discuss three trends of thought within the party, with significant differences of opinion in each (Politicheskie partii Rossii, konets 19- pervaia tret’ 20 veka. Entsiklopediia, 440).

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  • 47

    Robert P. Browder, “Kerenskii Revisited,” Harvard Slavic Studies 4 (1957): 421.

  • 53

    Sukhanov and Carmichael, The Russian Revolution, 137.

  • 56

    Radkey, The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, 452.

  • 58

    Radkey, The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, 333–34. This anecdote is the product of an interview Radkey had with Tsereteli in 1949.

  • 61

    Radkey, The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, 141.

  • 62

     See Ia. A. Leon’tev, “Persona’’nyi sostav Ts.K. partii levykh eserov,” 121–39.

  • 63

    Haefner, “Die Partei der Linken Sozialrevoliutionare,” 73–74.

  • 64

    Protasov, Liudi Uchreditelínogo sobraniia, 314. Kolegaev was a major contributor to the Soviet decree on socialization of land.

  • 65

    Badcock, Politics and the people in revolutionary Russia, 203–06.

  • 71

    Radkey, The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, 381–83.

  • 73

    Zenzinov papers, box 13, p. 25, Zenzinov, Perezhitoe, 134.

  • 74

    N. Erofeev, ‘Boris Viktorovich Savinkov’ in Politicheskii partii Rossii, konets 19- pervaia tret’ 20 veka. Entsiklopediia, 544.

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  • 76

    Zenzinov papers, box 10, pp. 6–7.

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