Struve, Peter Bernardovich

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(18701944), liberal political leader, economist, and author.

As a young man Peter Bernardovich Struve rose to prominence on the liberal left. In the 1890s he joined the Social Democratic party and authored its manifesto. He was then a proponent of a moderate legal Marxism. Struve, however, was not a doctrinaire. He was dedicated to learning and loved literature and poetry. By contrast, the Russian militants saw such a pursuit as a distraction from the task of revolution.

As Russia moved toward revolution Struve moved toward a liberal conservatism. From 1902 to 1905 he edited the journal Osvobozhdenie (Liberation), a liberal publication. He eventually joined the Constitutional Democratic party (Cadet). In 1906 he won election as a deputy to the second Duma. In 1909 he contributed to Vekhi (Landmarks) as one of a group of prominent intellectuals who broke sharply with the militant leftists, seeing them as a threat to Russia's liberation from despotism and its transformation into a liberal and democratic constitutional state. He was deeply patriotic as well as liberal in orientation. In 1911 he wrote a series entitled Patriotica. From 1907 to 1917 he engaged in scholarship as well as politics as a professor at the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute. After the 1917 October Revolution Struve briefly joined an anti-Bolshevik government in southern Russia and then was forced to emigrate to the West where he spent the remainder of his life as a scholar and writer on economics and politics.

See also: constitutional democratic party; social democratic workers party; vekhi


Pipes, Richard. (1970). Struve: Liberal on the Left, 1870 1905. Russian Research Center Studies, no. 64. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Pipes, Richard. (1980). Struve: Liberal on the Right, 19051944. Russian Research Center Studies, no. 80. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Carl A. Linden