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Biographical Sources for Russian/Soviet Politics

Biographical Sources

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Some of the sources in the section on History could apply to Politics as well, so be sure to check there too.  This section includes mostly biographical dictionaries or sets that are not covered in the Russian biographical archive. Those few that are both in the RBA and included here are of particular significance and are noted as such. Resources for Russian biography are extremely rich and the Biographical Archive doesn’t even scratch the surface, so be sure to use it as a starting point only.

Kto est’ kto v rossiiskoi politike. (300 biografii).

A. Vasilevskii, V. Pribylovskii. Moskva: Panorama, 1993. 3 vols.
U of I Library Call Number: Russian Reference Q.920.047 K949 v.1-3

Although the subtitle indicates that this set contains 300 biographies, the verso of the title page claims that it actually has 322. Entries are usually 2-3 pages long with fairly detailed information on Russian government figures, party leaders, and other individuals prominent in Russian society. The emphasis of the biographies is on the individual’s career and political activities, but they include other biographical data such as educational background and nationality. Many of the entries include a photograph as well. There are no bibliographic references at the end of each entry, but the introduction provides a bibliography of sources used to compile the set. In addition to the printed sources, the compilers used surveys, oral information and other materials. Here is the entry for Viktor Ivanovich Zhigulin.

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Kadrovaia panorama 1998 goda. Naznacheniia, otstavki, vybory.

Goriachev, IUrii. . Moskva: Russkii biograficheskii institut, 1999. 448 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Russian Reference 947.00922 G675k

This source is unusual in that it chronicles appointments, dismissals, retirements and elections of public officials in Russia at both the federal and regional levels and in the sphere of media and business for the year of 1998. The first half of the book lists the changes in chronological order by level of government or business or media. It also covers the Baltics. There is a short section of People of the Year for 1998 chosen by the Russian Biographical Institute. The last section of the book contains biographical entries for all of the names previously listed in another section. Entries in this section are in alphabetical order by surname. See the entry below on Grigorii Nekhoroshev, the former editor of the journal Litsa .

a sample entry for Kadrovaia panorama 1998 goda

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Politicheskaia mysl’ v Rossii. Slovar’ personalii. (XI v.-1917 g.)

Moskva: Knizhnyi dom “Universitet”, 2000. 287 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Russian Reference 320.947 P75951

This is a biographical dictionary of Russian political thinkers up to 1917. The book opens with a brief survey of the development of Russian political thought and then continues with biographical articles on the major thinkers. Most articles are several pages long, but spend little time on biographical details. The main thrust is on the development of their ideas. All articles are signed and provide bibliographical references. There also is a bibliography of general works on the history of Russian political philosophy. Follow the link for the entry on Vladimir Aristovich Engel’son.


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