Marxist Writers: Anatoly Lunacharsky


Anatoly Lunacharsky


Anatoly Vasilievich Lunacharsky’s
Revolutionary Silhouettes

Written: 1923.
Translated into English: Michael Glenny in 1967.
Transcribed: for the Internet by in March 1996.
Proofread: Einde O’Callaghan (August 2011).

 [ A.V. Lunacharsky ]

Anatoly Lunacharsky was the USSR’s first Commissar of Education. He was born in 1875 in Poltava (Ukraine) to minor nobility with an educated radical consciousness. It was an environment not unlike Lenin’s, though less provincial. “I became a revolutionary so early in life that I don’t remember when I was not one.”

In 1894, he left Russia for Switzerland and was a pupil of Avenarius. In 1896, he returned to Russia – and was arrested for party building activities. He was exiled to Kaluga. In 1901 or 1902, he returned to Kiev.

Isaac Deutscher wrote in a 1967 intro to this book:

“His role in the events of 1917 was quite outstanding, as all eye-witnesses testify. The ‘soft’ ‘God-seeker’ with the air of the absent-minded professor, surprised and astonished all who saw him by his indominable militancy and energy. He was the great orator of Red Petrograd, second only to Trotsky, addressing every day, or even several times a day, huge, hungry and angry crowds or workers, soldiers and saolors ...”

He was jailed by Kerensky in July 1917. Made Commissar of Education in Lenin’s first government. Died in 1933, just before taking the station of Ambassador to Spain.

Table of Contents:

1. – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
2. – Lev Davidovich Trotsky
3. – Grigorii Ovseyevich Zinoviev
4. – Georgii Valentinovich Plekhanov
5. – Yakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov
6. – Comrade Volodarsky
7. – Moisei Solomonvich Uritsky
8. – Yulii Osipovich Martov (Tsederbaum)
9. – Fyodor Ivanovich Kalinin
10. – Pavel Bessalko

Translator notes on edition



Last up dated on: 23.8.2011