Biography of Alexandr Ivánovich Herzen (1812-1870)

Politician, Economist, journalist, philosopher and Russian Narrator, born in Moscow in 1812 and died in Paris in 1870. Agitated by the revolutionary development of his time, his life and work were devoted to the dissemination of a progressive ideas put to the service of the disadvantaged classes.


Committed from a very early age with the political life of his country, at the age of twenty-two was arrested and imprisoned for spreading ideas contrary to the Tsarist regime. He/She was banished to Vyatka and Vladimir (1838-1839), where he/she came to settle in Petersburgo as a civil servant of the Ministry of the Interior. His perseverance in the defense of his ideas led him to be banished again in 1841. After a brief return to his Moscow home, he/she moved abroad and settled in Paris (1847); but he/she was soon expelled from the capital gala, by having contributed to La voix du peuple (the voice of the people), publication founded by the anarchist Proudhon. He/She lived a few years in Nice, and from there moved to London, where, in 1853, he/she founded a publishing house in which ushered in Russian publications which could not come to light in his country. His constant pilgrimage led him to Geneva, where he/she lived during 1854. He/She later returned to the capital of France, where he/she died in 1870.


Its politico-literaria activity was developed, in part, in the magazines he/she founded, authentic vehicles of expansion of its Socialist and - gradually - anarquizantes ideas. Closer to the thought of Feuerbach and Bakunin, he/she ran for his country a rapprochement between Slavophiles and Westernizers, and advocated a populism that was intended to achieve a radical transformation of the social and economic order. Among these periodicals antizaristas, Polaris (1855-1862, and 1869) and, above all, the campaign (1857-1867), whose huge European Broadcasting clandestinely, reached Russian territory.

As a philosopher, Herzen was also (besides the recently mentioned) influenced by the materialism of Hegel, which he/she expressed in works such as the dilettantism in science (1843) and letters on the study of nature (1845). Subsequently, whereas in Russia it could escape the phase of capitalist development, took as a point of support communities of peasants (obschini) and advocated the establishment of a Utopian socialism — on the development of the revolutionary ideas in Russia (1851) and the Russian people and socialism (1851).

His literary production is headed by the romantic novel entitled who is guilty? (1845-1847), in which blamed the perversion of their worst children to society. He/She also published two short novels El doctor Krupov (1847), and the magpie thief (1848), a work essay on the European revolutionary events of 1848 - letters from Italy and France (1850)-, and a book of remembrance - past and thoughts (1867).