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Herzen Reader

Alexander Herzen, Kathleen Parthe

Publication Year: 2012

A Herzen Reader presents one hundred essays and editorials Alexander Herzen (1812-1870), most written for The Bell, a newspaper he launched with Nikolai Ogaryov in London in 1857.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Series: NUP

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

A Herzen Reader owes its greatest debt to Russian scholars who worked on the thirty-volume edition of Herzen’s collected works (Sobranie sochinenii v tridtsati tomakh). Information about the translated documents not otherwise attributed comes from their notes to the original texts. ...

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pp. xi-xxxii

There was a time when Russian readers were divided into followers of Alexander Herzen—willing to take considerable risks to acquire and discuss his works—and his implacable enemies, who saw in him a traitor to the nation. There was a time when leading European liberals and radicals engaged him in a lively and prolonged debate, ...

A Note on the Text

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pp. xxxiii-xxxiv

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1. On the Development of Revolutionary Ideas in Russia [1851/1858]

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pp. 3-27

On the Development of Revolutionary Ideas in Russia was written in 1850, at the dawn of a particularly turbulent period in Herzen’s life, so it is fitting that one of the first places it is mentioned is in a letter to the German poet George Herwegh, soon to be revealed as a serious rival for Natalya Herzen’s affections. ...

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2. The Free Russian Press in London [1853]

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pp. 27-30

The announcement below was published as a separate lithographed sheet by the printing house that Herzen established in London in order to challenge the heavily censored press at home. It was also published in a Polish newspaper in May 1853 (where the Russian government took note of it) and in an abridged form ...

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3. St. George’s Day! St. George’s Day! [1853]

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pp. 30-36

Written in June 1853, this is the first proclamation issued by the Russian Free Press. It was sent directly to senior government officials in St. Petersburg, who informed the tsar; plans were quickly formulated to prevent its distribution, and to henceforth pay the strictest attention to books and other printed materials brought into Russia. ...

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4. An Announcement About The Polestar [1855]

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pp. 36-41

Initially published as a separate sheet, the announcement of The Polestar was reprinted in its first issue, as well in the French newspaper L’Homme, where agents of the Foreign Ministry noticed it and sent it on to St. Petersburg (Let 2:238–41). Originally planned as a journal, the lack of fresh material from Russia in the early years ...

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5. A Letter to Emperor Alexander the Second [1855]

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pp. 41-45

The Polestar, Bk. I, 1855. Exiled to the Russian interior, Herzen met Alexander Nikolaevich Romanov when the heir to the throne traveled throughout the empire to get to know more about his future subjects. A few years later, still under the spell of this meeting, Herzen admitted that his idée fixe was to serve in the grand duke’s suite, ...

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6. A Note on “The Correspondence Between N. Gogol and Belinsky” in The Polestar [1855]

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pp. 45-46

The Polestar, Bk. III, 1855. Herzen published the infamous 1847 correspondence between Gogol and Belinsky, which was still banned in Russia, along with Gogol’s reaction to Belinsky’s article in The Contemporary In A Remarkable Decade, Pavel Annenkov described Herzen’s arrival at the hotel in Paris where a seriously ill Belinsky ...

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7. Forward! Forward! [1856]

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pp. 46-51

Keep moving now, do not stand in one place, it is difficult to say what will come and how, but there has been a real jolt and the ice has begun to break up. Move forward… You’ll be amazed how easy it will be to go on after this. ...

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8. Baptized Property [1857]

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pp. 51-54

The first edition of “Baptized Property” appeared in 1853. The head of the postal service, Adlerberg, informed the Third Department that the brochure was written in a way that was offensive and harmful to the government. While the tsar took great pains to prevent its penetration into Russia, the Russian ambassador in London purchased a copy ...

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9. The Bell: A Supplement to The Polestar [1857]

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pp. 54-55

The Polestar, Bk. III, 1857. The first separate issue of The Bell in July 1857 included this announcement with additional comments. During the dramatic trial scenes in The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky had the defense lawyer Fetyukovich pull out all the stops, with quotations from the gospels and references ...

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10. A Preface to The Bell [1857]

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pp. 55-58

The Bell, No. 1, July 1, 1857. The epigraph was a poem by Nikolay Ogaryov about the years of enforced silence in Russia, which are coming to an end as all its bells sound forth. According to Herzen, Ogaryov convinced him to undertake this new project (Gertsen, Sobranie sochinenii, 27:bk. 1, 265). ...

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11. Venerable Travelers [1857]

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pp. 58-61

The Bell, No. 1, July 1, 1857. The French text of “Venerable Travelers” appeared in the London-based French newspaper on June 27, 1857, with a sarcastic introduction by the editor, saying that it was a pity the Grand Duke Konstantin had not made it to London on his last European trip ...

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12. Revolution in Russia [1857]

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pp. 61-65

The Bell, No. 2, August 1, 1857. A French translation of “Revolution in Russia” appeared in the Brussels newspaper on October 1, 1862. As fundamental reform began to be discussed in his homeland, Herzen expressed a strong preference for a peaceful path forward over any kind of revolution, ...

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13. To Flog or Not to Flog the Peasant? [1857]

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pp. 65-67

The Bell, No. 6, December 1, 1857. The problem of corporal punishment was one that Herzen raised in a number of essays, and it was a central issue for many advocates of reform in Russia. (See Doc. 29.) In chapter 15 of Past and Thoughts, Herzen recalled what he learned in exile about the government’s treatment of peasants ...

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14. A Letter Criticizing The Bell [1858]

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pp. 67-69

The Bell, No. 8, February 1, 1858. This is Herzen’s answer to a letter that—in the end— was never published, but which raised issues that Herzen felt obliged to address. It is one of Herzen’s most significant statements on laughter, and on how he would treat, in his own manner, facts about the arbitrary behavior of Russian serf owners ...

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15. Lackeys and Germans Refuse Permission [1858]

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pp. 69-71

The Bell, No. 9, February 15, 1858. Herzen’s lead article for this issue was called “Three Years Later (February 18, 1858),” in which he recalls his 1855 letter to the new tsar (Doc. 5). The work of emancipation had begun, and nothing must stop its progress. State power (vlast’) and public opinion were now lined up ...

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16. Censorship Is on the Rise [1858]

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pp. 71-72

Instead of abolishing the censorship, the censorship has been doubled and made more complex.1 Formerly the censoring was done by censors, priests, and the secret police; now all departments will act as censors, and every ministry will appoint its own eunuch to the literary seraglio, this at a time when a relaxation of censorship was expected. ...

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17. Logophobia [1858]

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pp. 72-73

The other day the Kölnischer Zeitung announced a new ban on The Bell in Prussia. In Saxony all our periodicals are banned. In Naples the embassy secretary is frightening the booksellers; commercial travelers of the Third Department in the uniforms of adjutant generals, and councilors of state who imagine themselves privy councilors, ...

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18. July 1, 1858 [1858]

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pp. 73-78

The Bell, No. 18, July 1, 1858. Herzen increasingly doubts the expediency of appealing to the authorities, although he still hopes that the tsar will reach out to the people. The image of the fairy-tale hero at the crossroads, faced with difficult choices with serious repercussions, will reappear in The Bell, ...

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19. A Letter to the Empress Maria Alexandrovna [1858]

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pp. 78-84

The Bell, No. 27, November 1, 1858. While this public letter to the empress caused a stir, it was not without precedent. In 1826, poet Vasily Zhukovsky wrote to Maria Alexandrovna’s mother-in-law, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, whom he had earlier tutored in Russian. ...

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20. We Stand Accused [1858]

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pp. 84-87

The Bell, No. 27, November 1, 1858. In the years leading up to the emancipation a split developed between Herzen and two prominent liberals, the jurist and writer Boris N. Chicherin and Moscow law professor Konstantin D. Kavelin. They had already publicly disagreed with Herzen in the almanac Voices from Russia, ...

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21. A Bill of Indictment [1858]

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pp. 87-89

The Bell, No. 29, December 1, 1858. Konstantin Kavelin wrote to Chicherin early in 1859, criticizing the bureaucratic tone Chicherin took with Herzen and questioning his right to speak so condescendingly to a man who wanted the reforms to succeed without casualties. Chicherin forwarded Kavelin’s letter and others written in a similar spirit ...

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22. VERY DANGEROUS!!! [1859]

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pp. 90-95

The Bell, No. 44, June 1, 1859. The title of the article below was written in capital letters and in English. This is the first detailed polemic against attempts made between 1857 and 1859 in The Contemporary and other Russian journals to discredit—in coded language— the journalism of exposure and denunciation, ...

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23. Political Dinners in Moscow [1859]

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pp. 95-98

The Bell, No. 49, August 1, 1859. Semi-public banquets, organized by progressive forces (on the model of France in 1848) were organized in Russia only after the death of Nicholas I. For instance, the Moscow intelligentsia gathered in November 1855, not long after Granovsky’s passing, ...

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24. The Supreme Council of Moscow University Pharisees [1859]

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pp. 98-102

The Bell, No. 55, November 1, 1859. In part 1 of Past and Thoughts, Herzen described his part in a March 1831 student rebellion at Moscow University against Professor Malov of the Politics Faculty. They succeeded in getting Malov dismissed, but Herzen and five other students were held for several nights in the university prison. ...

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25. The Year 1860 [1860]

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pp. 102-111

The Bell, No. 60, January 1, 1860. Herzen later said that this essay, with which he was very pleased, was his final effort to free the tsar from the influence of the gentry oligarchs, who were agitating for a greater role in governance in return for the imminent loss of their serfs. ...

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 26. Count Viktor Panin’s Speech to the Deputies [1860]

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pp. 111-112

You recall the words of our sovereign emperor; I have deeply engraved them in my memory and I will act in conformity with them. You know that the plans of the Editorial Commission have not yet been confirmed, and for that reason I cannot say anything that will be either reassuring or favorable to you, ...

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27. Letters from Russia [1860]

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pp. 113-116

We will steadfastly get through this time of terrible ordeals, we will become kinder and will not lose faith in Russia’s development just because a weak tsar, tripping over Panin, has fallen into the slush and mud of Luzhin’s denunciations.1 We are even sorrier that “after a five-year reign, which filled Roman hearts with hope, ...

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28. Five Years Later [1860]

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pp. 117-121

This was first published as the introduction to the anthology Five Years Later, and then separately in The Bell, No. 72, June 1, 1860. At this point, Herzen shifted his focus from the tsar as the primary agent of change to the progressive intelligentsia. The poet and journalist Alexey Pleshcheev (1825–1893) wrote to a friend that while he had not yet received a copy of the book, ...

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29. Down with Birch Rods! [1860]

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pp. 121-123

The Bell, No. 75, July 1, 1860. Earlier in 1860, Herzen responded to a letter from a Russian ship captain with an essay about the extraordinary importance of ending corporal punishment, a practice which offended both human dignity and natural empathy. “The great men of the 14th of December understand the importance of this so well, ...

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30. Konstantin Sergeevich Aksakov [1861]

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pp. 124-126

The Bell, No. 90, January 15, 1861. Herzen learned about Konstantin Aksakov’s death through a letter from the deceased’s brother, Ivan. Turgenev wrote to Herzen in February 1861 informing him that the article below made a deep impression on readers in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia, ...

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31. On the Eve [1861]

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pp. 126-127

The Bell, No. 93, March 1, 1861. In this article, Herzen is most likely taking into account information he received in a February 1861 letter from Ivan Turgenev, who said that the emancipation announcement would come soon, perhaps on the sixth anniversary of the death of Nicholas I (February 18). ...

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32. Friends and Comrades! [1861]

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pp. 128-130

This pamphlet was printed, but never distributed. Herzen awaited the imminent announcement about the serfs’ fate with keen anticipation and regret that he could not be in Moscow himself (Gertsen, Sobranie sochinenii, 27:bk. 1, 139–40). This is the speech, dated March 24, that Herzen intended to give at an April 10, 1861, ...

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33. The Bell, Kovalevsky, Kostomarov, a Copy, and Cannibals [1861]

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pp. 130-132

The Bell, No. 96, April 15, 1861. Kovalevsky is the minister of education who banned the speech about the late Konstantin Aksakov at a St. Petersburg University assembly on February 8, 1861. At the conclusion of the assembly, the students’ loud demand for a public reading of the speech caused the university authorities ...

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34. The Abuse of a Fiftieth Anniversary [1861]

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pp. 132-134

For us every kind of public declaration of joy, grief, sympathy, and repugnance is still so new that like children, we do not know when to stop and we make the most innocent game offensive. After the imperial journey through Russia of Alexander Dumas and the election of Molinari ...

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35. Russian Blood Is Flowing! [1861]

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pp. 134-138

The Bell, Nos. 98–99, May 15, 1861. Herzen was disturbed by violence against the Poles, Russian peasants, and students in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and wrote several essays on this topic. The first letter quoted in this article was sent to Herzen by Stepan S. Gromeka (1823–1877), a journalist and government official in Russia and Poland. ...

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36. The Smell of Cigars and the Stench of the State Council [1861]

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pp. 138-139

The Bell, No. 100, June 1, 1861. Herzen frequently wrote on the subject of regulations governing such matters as beards and beardlessness, smoking in public, and the fanatical attention to buttons on uniforms, all of which bordered on the ludicrous at a time of momentous change and daunting problems. ...

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37. April 12, 1861 (The Apraksin Murders) [1861]

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pp. 139-142

The Bell, No. 101, June 15, 1861. This essay is devoted to the April 1861 massacre of peasants by government forces at Bezdna in the province of Kazan, already mentioned in “Russian Blood Is Flowing!” (Doc. 35). The Russian government hid information about this unrest from the public for a month, ...

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38. Petersburg University Is Shut Down! [1861]

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pp. 142-144

The Bell, No. 109, October 15, 1861. This issue opens with a message to the Russian ambassador in London, revealing that Herzen and Ogaryov have received anonymous letters which suggest that the Third Department would try to either kidnap or kill them. Herzen warns the ambassador that if any harm comes to them, ...

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39. A Giant Is Awakening! [1861]

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pp. 144-148

The Bell, No. 109, October 15, 1861. This issue opens with a message to the Russian ambassador in London, revealing that Herzen and Ogaryov have received anonymous letters which suggest that the Third Department would try to either kidnap or kill them. Herzen warns the ambassador that if any harm comes to them, ...

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40. Bakunin Is Free [1861]

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pp. 148

The Bell, No. 113, November 22, 1861. In October, Herzen received a letter from Bakunin after he had escaped from Siberia and had gotten as far as San Francisco. This information was passed on to Proudhon and to acquaintances in Russia. Bakunin arrived in London on December 27, 1861. ...

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41. Concerning the Assaults on Students [1861]

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pp. 148-152

The Bell, No. 113, November 1, 1861. Herzen compiled information on the treatment of students which included letters from readers of The Bell and other information that came his way, framed by his own commentary. The Bell continued to publish materials the editors received on this topic in subsequent issues. ...

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42. The Cannon Fodder of Liberation [1862]

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pp. 152-156

The Bell, No. 121, February 1, 1862. Herzen revived an idea he raised most famously in From the Other Shore, that for theorists of all political stripes, the popular masses serve as inert, experimental material, sacrificial offerings on the altar of one or another abstract idea (Woehrlin, Chernyshevskii, 257). ...

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43. Jubilee [1862]

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pp. 156-158

The Bell, No. 121, February 1, 1862. Herzen was dissatisfied with the September 1862 millennium ceremony staged in Novgorod, the city to which he had been exiled in 1841. He had requested Odessa, “the newest city in Russia, and they transferred me to Novgorod, the oldest city” (Gertsen, Sobranie sochinenii, 22:96). ...

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44. Academic Moscow [1862]

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pp. 158-161

The Bell, No. 125, March 15, 1862. The Bell gave extensive coverage to the student disturbances that flared up at Moscow University during September and October 1861 in connection with new rules set forth by Minister of Education Putyatin. Students asked that the rise in tuition costs be rescinded along with the ban on the student bank, ...

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45. Young and Old Russia [1862]

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pp. 161-166

The Bell, No. 139, July 15, 1862. This is a polemic against positions taken by authors of the radical proclamation “Young Russia,” which was generated by a group of Moscow University students and widely distributed in mid-May 1862 in Moscow, Petersburg, and provincial Russia. ...

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46. Journalists and Terrorists [1862]

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pp. 167-171

[. . .] One of the oddest of all the oddities in the war being waged against us is that “Aging Russia” accuses us of a thirst for explosions, violent revolutions, terrorist impulses, and just about accuses us of arson, and, at the same time, “Young Russia” scolds us for having lost our revolutionary fervor and for having lost “all faith in violent revolutions.” ...

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47. A Chronicle of Terror [1862]

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pp. 171-173

The Bell, No. 141, August 15, 1862. The Tver arbitrators (mirovye posredniki) mentioned in the letter are thirteen members of the nobility who addressed the tsar in writing about the inadequacies of the emancipation and the need for peasants to receive an allotment of land along with their freedom. ...

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48. A List of People Subject to Arrest by the Government Upon Their Return from Abroad [1862]

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pp. 173-174

The Bell, No. 141, August 15, 1862. Everyone on this list apparently visited Herzen in London during the spring and summer of 1862, and were observed by an agent of the Third Department, who kept watch on Herzen’s house and was able to distinguish between those who came out of curiosity and a smaller group ...

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49. The Celebration of the Millennium [1862]

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pp. 174-176

The Bell, No. 146, October 1, 1862. This is one of several articles by Herzen devoted to the tsarist regime’s commemoration of the founding of Rus a thousand years earlier. While “Jubilee,” from the February 1 issue (Doc. 43), focused on the Novgorod bell and the historical figures depicted on it, eight months later Herzen reported ...

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50. Land and Liberty [1863]

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pp. 176-177

The Bell, No. 157, March 1, 1863. Since 1861, Herzen and Ogaryov had been in communication with organizers of the secret circle that became the first Land and Liberty (Zemlia i volia). While Ogaryov worked more closely with them, it was Herzen who suggested the name, which was taken from his essay “What Do the People Need?” ...

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51. A Lament [1863]

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pp. 177-179

The Bell, No. 158, March 8, 1863. Like other articles written by Herzen at the time of the Polish uprising, “A Lament” is a sharp expression of his love for Russia, a love which made him work for its liberation, but which was inseparable from the freedom of other nations under Russian control. ...

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52. 1853–1863 [1863]

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pp. 179-185

This first appeared as a preface to the volume that marked the tenth anniversary of the Free Russian Press in London; an excerpt was later reprinted in the March 15, 1863, issue of The Bell (No. 159). Herzen traces the ideological journey made by the Free Press during its first decade, while emphasizing its “living tie” to progressive opinion in Russia. ...

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53. The Proclamation “Land and Liberty” [1863]

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pp. 186-187

The Bell, No. 160, April 1, 1863. The Allgemeine Zeitung (No. 107) reported that Herzen had gone further than ever before by allying himself with a group whose goal was to replace Russia’s thousand-year-old empire. However, in his correspondence with Ogaryov, Herzen was already talking about loosening his ties ...

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54. 1831–1863 [1863]

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pp. 187-202

The Bell, No. 160, April 1, 1863 (Part I); No. 161, April 15, 1863 (Part II); No. 163, May 1, 1863 (Part III). Herzen wrote this article soon after receiving news of the distribution in Moscow and Petersburg of a proclamation called “Polish Blood Is Flowing, Polish Blood Is Flowing….” He saw the call for widespread sympathy with the Polish cause ...

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55. What Kind of Government Does Russia Have? [1863]

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pp. 202-204

The Bell, No. 163, May 15, 1863. This polemic against Katkov and The Moscow Gazette (Moskovskie vedomosti) displays the familiar ironic style of Herzen’s journalism, especially with its abundance of rhetorical questions and punning. ...

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56. The Volga Manifesto and Russia in a State of Siege [1863]

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pp. 204-207

The Bell, No. 166, June 20, 1863. Herzen was well informed on activities in the Russian provinces; he saw the hand of some organization other than Land and Liberty in the appearance of a fake proclamation from the tsar to the serfs, and he felt a duty to criticize the ideological position and tactics of any group ...

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57. I. Kelsiev and N. Utin [1863]

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pp. 207-208

The Bell, No. 169, August 15, 1863. Ivan I. Kelsiev (1841–1864) was an auditor at Moscow University and an active participant in the student demonstrations of October 1861 that included a march to the home of Governor-General Tuchkov. As one of a three-student delegation hoping to negotiate with Tuchkov, Kelsiev was arrested, ...

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58. Gallows and Journals [1863]

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pp. 208-210

The Bell, No. 169, August 15, 1863. Herzen cannot rest while journalism in Russia is supporting the bloody work of the state. He wrote to Bakunin that “however vile the government was, journalism and society were even more vile” with dinners and toasts for the worst of the lot, Muravyov and Katkov (Let 3:532). ...

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59. At This Stage [1863]

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pp. 210-215

The Bell, No. 170, September 1, 1863. This essay continues Herzen’s polemic with reform-era liberals, especially those like M. N. Katkov, N. F. Pavlov, and B. N. Chicherin who had begun to craft a kind of liberal conservatism, which included strong nationalist sentiments. Herzen saw this as a new stage in Russia’s ideological development, ...

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60. Mikhail Semyonovich Shchepkin [1863]

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pp. 215-220

The Bell, No. 171, October 1, 1863. Herzen composed this tribute after hearing about the death of Shchepkin in August 1863. Born into serfdom, Mikhail Shchepkin became one of the most famous Russian actors of his day, and a prominent figure in Russian society. Because of his humble background, his successes took on a political resonance ...

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61. Scandal, Soot, a Candle Snuffer, etc. [1864]

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pp. 221-222

The Bell, No. 177, January 15, 1864. This article is related to ongoing commentary in The Bell about the behavior of Russian liberals. It criticizes the fashion for repentance, especially by a gray-haired “Magdalene” (Ivan Turgenev), who submitted to questioning by the Russian government at the Paris Embassy in March 1863. ...

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62. The Furies [1864]

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pp. 222-223

The January 10 issue of Le Siècle,1 speaking about a charming address to Muravyov by Petersburg ladies, asks with astonishment: “Don’t these mothers, wives, and sisters have sons, husbands, and brothers?” etc. O naive Siècle! Don’t they know what kind of beast is the female Russian landowner from Saltychikha2—jailed in chains by Catherine II ...

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63. They’ve Gone Completely Out of Their Minds [1864]

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pp. 223-224

In several Russian newspapers (The Siberian Gazette, The Northern Bee) there is a description of an execution that took place on January 5 in the town of Ostrov. Felix Ambrozhinsky was accused of being a gendarme in the Polish service, executing someone (no name was given), and “providing food supplies to the rebels.” ...

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64. N. G. Chernyshevsky [1864]

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pp. 224-225

The Bell, No. 186, June 15, 1864. This essay, full of respect and concern for a famous prisoner of the tsar, was reprinted in French soon after it appeared in The Bell. Ironically, during his trial Chernyshevsky had used the fact of Herzen’s previous attacks on him in “VERY DANGEROUS!!!” (Doc. 22) and other essays as proof of the distance ...

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65. VII Years [1864]

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pp. 226-230

The Bell, No. 187, July 15, 1864. Herzen summarizes the evolution of the Russian liberal gentry. The radical émigré Nikolay Utin (1841–1883), a member of the first Land and Liberty group who continued his radical work abroad, wrote to Ogaryov that this was the kind of categorical statement that Herzen should continue to write ...

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66. Government Agitation and Journalistic Police [1864]

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pp. 230-232

The Bell, No. 190, October 15, 1864. Herzen exposes the manipulations of both government officials and the writers who backed them with his satirical, punning subtitles. Katkov attacked Herzen in almost every issue of The Moscow Gazette for seeking the destruction of Russia. ...

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67. 1865 [1865]

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pp. 232-233

The Bell, No. 193, January 1, 1865. Herzen wrote this on the eve of a gathering of younger émigrés in Geneva, as a public answer to their proposal to turn The Bell into an outlet for the radical Russian émigrés, which would fundamentally alter a role that Herzen had defined as “words, advice, analysis, denunciation of evil [oblichenie], ...

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68. A Letter to Emperor Alexander II [1865]

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pp. 233-238

The Bell, No. 197, May 25, 1865, was the first issue published in Geneva, where the Free Press had moved from London. The letter below was written after the death in April of the heir to the throne, Nikolay Alexandrovich. By the time the presses were set up in Switzerland, the shocking news of Lincoln’s assassination had also reached Herzen. ...

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69. To Our Readers [1865]

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pp. 238-241

The Bell, No. 197, May 25, 1865. After the great success of The Bell between the years 1859 and 1862, increased police activity made it more difficult to send correspondence to London and to distribute the publication in Russia. Switzerland was a stoppingoff point for Russians going to and from Italy and France ...

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70. The Serno-Solovyovich Case [1865]

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pp. 241-244

The Bell, No. 200, July 15, 1865. Nikolay A. Serno-Solovyovich was one of the founders, along with his brother Alexander, of the first “Land and Liberty” group (1861–62), which “had sprung up so casually from the first network of correspondents and readers of Kolokol or the ideas preached by the Sovremennik” ...

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71. Russia Is Still Burning [1865]

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pp. 244

There are fires in twenty provinces! And all of them arson, according to The Moscow Gazette. But who is committing this arson? Is it possible that not once have the police ever gotten their hands on a genuinely guilty person, except for some holy fools and juveniles, from whom you could not get a sensible word? ...

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72. As the Year Comes to an End [1865]

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pp. 245-255

The Bell, No. 209, December 1, 1865 (Part I); No. 210, December 15, 1865 (Part II). Herzen wrote this essay in answer to criticism from radical democratic (young émigrés and Bakunin), “court liberal” (Chicherin), and conservative (M. P. Pogodin) circles. It covers not just 1865, but the line taken by The Bell during the past few years. ...

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73. Our Future Peers and Our Former Anglomaniacs [1865]

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pp. 255-256

Le Nord1 relates how a deputation from the English Club (we await with impatience to learn whether there will be a deputation from the Troitsky inn and the Krasny tavern) asked the governor-general of Moscow to ban Potekhin’s play A Cut-off Piece, because it comes down hard on serf owners. ...

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74. Nicholas the Orator [1865]

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pp. 256-257

In the August issue of The Russian Herald there is an article about “Events in the Province of Novgorod During the First Cholera Epidemic.”1 After a description of the unbelievably stupid and awkward measures taken by authorities in Novgorod province during the cholera epidemic of 1830, ...

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75. The First Ban, the First Warning, the First Trial! [1865]

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pp. 257-260

The Bell, No. 210, December 15, 1865. This is Herzen’s response to the government’s repression of literature and journalism in November 1865, only two months after the introduction of new regulations on periodicals, which freed them from pre-publication censorship. The main target of the government’s actions was The Contemporary. ...

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76. Serf Owners [1866]

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pp. 261-264

Now, completely to the contrary, an entire band of former slave owners openly weep over their lost serf rights. The 19th of February 1861 is remembered as a day of great misfortune, the way the French republicans remember the 2nd of December.2 We do not doubt that they always had these feelings, but they were hiding them. ...

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77. Prince Sergey Grigorevich Volkonsky [1866]

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pp. 264-271

The Bell, No. 212, January 15, 1866. Herzen’s interest in the Decembrists dates back to 1825; the uprising was without doubt one of the most decisive influences in his life. He used the Free Russian Press to publish materials by and about the Decembrists, and the title Polestar was a tribute to the five martyrs. ...

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78. From Petersburg [1866]

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pp. 271-273

The Bell, No. 214, February 15, 1866. The theme—harassment of progressive journalists— and the ironic tone are familiar, as are the government’s misgivings about the zemstvos (institutions of local self-government), which were the products of its own reform program. ...

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79. 1789 [1866]

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pp. 274-276

The Bell, No. 217, April 1, 1866. A correspondent from Switzerland (V. D. Skaryatin) wrote in The News (Vest’) that, while remaining revolutionary, The Bell had adopted a more moderate tone. In reference to the article below, the same correspondent noted that the “family quarrel” between state and nobility ...

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80. Irkutsk and Petersburg [1866]

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pp. 276-280

The Bell, No. 219, May 1, 1866. Herzen reacts here to the first assassination attempt against Alexander II, as a member of the younger generation “answered accusations of ‘nihilism’ with a shot. [. . .] and action overtook words” (Ivanova, A. I. Gertsen, 189). Herzen states his objection to individual acts of terror and “surprises” ...

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81. Gentry Benefactors [1866]

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pp. 280-281

People have written to us from Russia about the following beneficial and patriotic measures taken by various landowners to increase the well-being of the peasants. In relating these facts, we leave their trustworthiness to the conscience of our correspondent. ...

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82. The News from Russia [1866]

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pp. 281-283

The Bell, No. 220, May 15, 1866. Herzen offers additional comments on the attempted assassination. In his massive historical series The Red Wheel, Alexander Solzhenitsyn said of the abdication of March 1917 that it “happened almost instantaneously, but had been played out for 50 years, beginning with Karakozov’s shot” ...

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83. A Second Warning and A Second Godunov [1866]

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pp. 283-285

The Bell, No. 220, May 15, 1866. The Moscow Gazette was issued a warning on March 26, 1866, and Katkov paid a fine, but he preferred to cease publication rather than publish the warning as instructed, as a result of which a second warning was proposed. This decision was overturned by Minister of the Interior Valuev, ...

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84. A Letter to Emperor Alexander II [1866]

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pp. 285-287

The Bell, No. 221, June 1, 1866. Over the years Herzen had written and published several letters to the tsar (in 1855, on the ascension to the throne; in 1857, in connection with a publication about the Decembrists; and 1865, on the death of the heir), as well as one to the empress in 1858, about the education of the future tsar. ...

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85. From Petersburg [1866]

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pp. 287-291

The Bell, No. 221, June 1, 1866. The previous month Herzen had written an article on the atmosphere in Russia; however, as indicated below, he destroyed it when a letter full of fresh information arrived. He sent a French version of the article “From Petersburg” to his son for placement in other periodicals, so that the fact that Karakozov was not part of a conspiracy ...

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86. From the Sovereign to P. P. Gagarin [1866]

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pp. 291-297

The Bell, No. 222, June 15, 1866. Herzen predicted that this article would delight everyone, and Ogaryov judged it one of the best that had appeared in The Bell. In a June 13, 1866, letter to Natalya Tuchkova-Ogaryova, Herzen said that he himself sensed “two flames coursing through it: irony and faith together…”

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87. Katkov and the Sovereign [1866]

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pp. 297-299

The sovereign could not manage without Katkov and once again appointed him to look after the floodgates of the Moscow sewer, from which filth and sewage have flowed for the past four years, contaminating all Russia. After two weeks, the sovereign could wait no longer and, like a physiologist, decided that a six-week-long cleansing ...

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88. A Frenzy of Denunciations [1866]

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pp. 299-300

We are overcome by the raging of denunciation—the wall separating the secret police from literature has fallen, and spies, informers, journalists, professors, and detectives have been merged into one family. The English Club has turned into an auxiliary chamber of the Third Department, ...

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89. A Quarrel Among Enemies [1866]

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pp. 300-303

Within the darkness of the government, at the very focal point of the political cancer that is eating away at Russia, a remarkable split has been revealed. The Moscow Gazette is turning into an organ of separatism, of the old enmity between Moscow and Petersburg. The publisher of The Moscow Gazette, having been forgiven by the sovereign, ...

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90. America and Russia [1866]

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pp. 303-305

The Bell, No. 228, October 1, 1866. A year after this essay appeared, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward finalized the purchase of Alaska from Russia. In the early 1850s, Herzen had rejected a suggestion from his Moscow friends that he move to America until there was a new tsar, but he took a lively interest in America’s affairs and in how it compared to Russia. ...

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91. The Question of a Plot [1866]

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pp. 305-306

The Bell, No. 229, November 1, 1866. In “The Gallows and Muravyov,” which was written soon after Karakozov’s execution and appeared in no. 228, Herzen reacted to the chaos that ensued from having “an absolute monarch who rules over nothing” (Gertsen, Sobranie sochinenii, 19:137–38). ...

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92. Order Triumphs! [1866–1867]

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pp. 306-322

The Bell, No. 230, December 1, 1866 (Part I); Nos. 231–32, January 1, 1867 (Part II); and No. 233–34, February 1, 1867 (Part III). Herzen’s notes indicate that he intended to continue this essay in subsequent issues. The first part is devoted to Europe, and Herzen reveals a greater optimism about social and political change than he had expressed in the aftermath of 1848, ...

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93. A New “Velvet Book” of Russian Noble Families [1867]

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pp. 322-325

The Bell, Nos. 233–234, February 1, 1867. Herzen greeted the New Year in Nice, “lying in bed with Prince Dolgorukov’s Notes” (Let 4:336). He added the final two paragraphs to the piece below to encourage the author, who had seen and disliked the first version. The review provoked a negative reaction from the Russian revolutionary Serno- Solovyovich, ...

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94. Our System of Justice [1867]

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pp. 325-327

All of the accused in the well-known case of the armed uprising in Kazan1 have been condemned by the Kazan criminal court to hard labor for the following period of time: ...

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95. Moscow—Our Mother and Stepmother [1867]

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pp. 327-330

IT IS NOT FOR YOU, NOT FOR YOU1 to hoist the banner for liberation— first cleanse yourselves, repent, acquire one language and one standard, or openly remain the slaves that you are; in this status you can be the “scourges of Providence” but not liberators. A person who selfishly wants freedom for himself and others like him, ...

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96. Rivals of the Big Bell and the Big Cannon [1867]

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pp. 330-331

A correspondent for Le Nord, talking about his three-week stay in Moscow, points out—like two great rarities—not the large bell and not the large cannon, but Filaret, the 84-year-old chief prelate, and Katkov, the much younger, but no less great, chief publisher.1 Before the decline of one of Katkov’s predecessors, the emperor Nicholas, ...

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97. The Right to Congregate—New Restrictions [1867]

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pp. 331-332

Why have you omitted the outrageous measures that have placed every sort of gathering under police surveillance? According to the new law, not only secret political and non-political meetings are considered “illegal,” but in general any kind of meeting with any sort of goal that does not receive preliminary permission. ...

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98. The Shot of June 6 [1867]

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pp. 332-333

The Bell, No. 243, June 15, 1867. A Polish émigré, Anton Berezovsky, a veteran of the 1863 uprising against Russian rule, took a shot at Alexander II in Paris on June 6, 1867, a crime for which he was given a life sentence by the French courts. Herzen delayed a trip to Nice to respond in print to this new assassination attempt. ...

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99. Venerable Travelers (Part Two) [1867]

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pp. 334-339

The Bell, No. 243, June 15, 1867. A decade earlier, Herzen had begun what he expected to be a continuing series about trips taken by members of the tsar’s family (Doc. 11). “Venerable Travelers (Part Two)” has much more in common with the themes that interested him in 1867 than it has with his earlier satirical travelogue. ...

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100. 1857–1867 [1867]

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pp. 339-342

The Bell, Nos. 244–245, July 1, 1867. Herzen began to think about halting publication of The Bell for six months. A number of factors made it more difficult to carry on: reaction appeared to be triumphing in Russia, as progressive voices—including those who had supplied The Bell with information—were silenced, the newspaper’s audience was greatly reduced, ...

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Critical Essay: Alexander Herzen: Writings on the Man and His Thought

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pp. 343-370

In a number of important aspects, the literary career of Alexander Ivanovich Herzen (1812–1870) gained a renewed impetus with his arrival on British soil in 1852, and culminated in the decade from 1857 to 1867, Herzen’s Bell years. His writings during this fifteen-year period exhibit a mixture, and at times a synthesis, of the two major components in his development: ...


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pp. 371-382

E-ISBN-13: 9780810166264
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810128477

Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1
Series Title: NUP

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Subject Headings

  • Herzen, Aleksandr, 1812-1870.
  • Russia -- History -- Alexander II, 1855-1881.
  • Russia -- Politics and government -- 1801-1917.
  • Socialism -- Russia -- History -- 19th century.
  • Intellectuals -- Soviet Union.
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