Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Periodicals



Pravda (Truth)

A Bolshevik daily, published in St. Petersburg. Founded in April 1912 on the initiative of the St. Petersburg workers.

Pravda experienced two lives, more or less marked before and after the revolution. Before the revolution, Pravda was a mass working-class newspaper published with a wide circle of worker correspondents/writers around the paper – it served as the voice of the Bolshevik party, bringing Marxist analysis of current events to Russia's literate workers and peasants. In a single year it published over 11,000 items from worker correspondents. Pravda had an average daily circulation of 40,000 issues, rising in some months to as high as 60,000 issues. Lenin directed the newspaper while living abroad. He wrote for it almost every day, gave instructions and advice to its editors, and gathered around the paper the Party's best literary forces.

Pravda was subjected to constant police persecutions. During its first year of publication it was confiscated forty-one times, its editors were prosecuted thirty-six times and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment totalling 4 years for their articles. For two years and three months Pravda was closed down by the tsarist government eight times, but reappeared under other names (Rabockaya Pravda, Severnaya Pravda, Pravda Truda, Za Pravdu, Proletarskaya Pravda, Put Pravdy, Rabochy, Trudovaya Pravda). The paper was closed down on July 8 (21), 1914, as a result of its constant agitation against the coming First World War.

The paper was unable to resume publication until after the February revolution. Beginning with March 5(18), 1917 it came out as the Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P. On April 5(18), on his return from abroad, Lenin joined the Editorial Board of Pravda and became its Editor-in-Chief. On July 5(18), 1917 the newspaper offices were wrecked by the Cadets and Cossacks. Between July and October 1917 Pravda was persecuted by the Provisional Government and repeatedly changed its name, coming out as Pravda, Rabochy soldat, Pistok Pravdy, Proletary, Rabochy, Rabochy put. Beginning October 27 (November 9), 1917, the paper came out under its old name of Pravda.

After the revolution, the role of Pravda shifted. Without a serious opposition press, Pravda served not only as a Marxist analysis of events, but became the definitive source of all news, among the only analysis of events that was available. It further extended it's role by becoming a news service for the entire nation, covering all aspects of daily life to the most serious foreign events. For decades Pravda contained some fantastic journalistic work, but all of it was shrouded in so much propaganda and distortions: Pravda become a true farce – its content had no real connection to the truth. During glasnost, Pravda was however, among the first periodicals to begin solid critique of the government, in a tradition of Marxism it had lost under Stalinism so many decades ago.



A daily published in Paris from 1836; during the July monarchy it was in opposition; in 1848-49, it was the organ of bourgeois republicans and subsequently of the Bonapartists.


Preussische Jahrbucher

A conservative monthly of the German capitalists and landowners published in Berlin from 1858 to 1935.



The Call: Published in Paris between 1915 and 1917 by a social-chauvinist group of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionary exiles


Proletarian Cause

A daily, the organ of the Bolshevik group of the Kronstadt Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. Published in 1917 instead of the Golos Pravdy (Voice of Truth ), which had been closed down by the Provisional Government in July.



The Proletarian: An illegal Bolshevik weekly, official organ of the R.S.D.L.P. It was founded in accordance with a resolution of the Third Congress of the Party. Lenin was appointed editor-in-chief of Proletary by a decision of a plenary meeting of the Party's Central Committee, on April 27 (May 10), 1905.

Proletary was published in Geneva from May 14 (27) till November 12 (25), 1905, when a total of twenty-six issues being brought out. Active in the work of the editorial board were V. Vorovsky A. Lunacharsky, and M. Olminsky. Proletary continued the policy of the old, Leninist Iskra, and maintained full continuity with the Bolshevik newspaper Vperyod.

In all, Lenin wrote about 90 articles and items for Proletary, his articles being reprinted in local Bolshevik periodicals, and also published in the form of leaflets. Publication of Proletary was discontinued shortly after Lenin's departure for Russia in November 1905, the last two issues (Nos. 25 and 26) being edited by V. Vorovsky. p. 17.



Enlightenment: A Bolshevik legal also called Kommunist, meant to be a monthly, published in St. Petersburg from December 1911 to June 1914, with a circulation of up to five thousand copies.

The journal was founded on Lenin's initiative to replace the Moscow-published Mysi, a Bolshevik journal which was closed down by the tsarist government. Lenin directed Prosveshcheniye from Paris and subsequently from Cracow and Poronin. He edited articles and regularly corresponded with the Editorial Board.

The journal highlighted the struggle of the working class under conditions of a new revolutionary upsurge, propagandised Bolshevik slogans in the Fourth Duma election campaign, and came out against revisionism and Centrism in the parties of the Second International.

On the eve of the First World War Prosveshcheniye was closed down by the tsarist government. It resumed publication in the autumn of 1917, but only one issue (a double one) appeared.