Herzen, Aleksandr

Image - Mykola Ge: Portrait of Aleksandr Herzen (1867). Image - Aleksandr Herzen and Nikolai Ogarev.

Herzen, Aleksandr [Герцен, Александр], b 6 April 1812 in Moscow, d 21 January 1870 in Paris. Most prominent Russian publicist and political thinker of his generation. Having left Russia in 1847, he published Poliarnaia zvezda and Kolokol in London. As a proponent of a socialistically inclined populism, he supported Ukraine's right to independence, but his personal hope was for a pan-Slavic federation. He considered the Ukrainian language to be a separate Slavic language, then an unusual view among Russians, and admired the poetry of Taras Shevchenko. Herzen, whose journal was widely disseminated in Ukraine, was respected by the leading Ukrainian activists of the time, including T. Shevchenko, Mykola Kostomarov (who in 1860 contributed an article to Kolokol on the Ukrainian question), Mykhailo Levchenko, and Volodymyr Antonovych.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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