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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2018 year, number 3


A.O. Anisimov
State Public Scientific and Technical Library SB RAS, 15 Voskhod str., Novosibirsk, 630200, Russian Federation
Keywords: publishing business, I.D. Sytin, A.M. Gorky, I.P. Ladyzhnikov, RSDRP(b), Ladyzhnikow Verlag, Ladyzhnikov Publishing House, B.N. Rubinsteins archive, International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam


The article deals with the economic aspects of the Bolshevik Publishing House of I. Ladyzhnikov (I. Ladyschnikow Verlag, G.m.b.H) in Berlin. It emphasizes that in addition to propaganda functions, the Publishing Houses important task was to receive profits for the party needs. The author draws on the earlier known facts explaining the reasons to create the publishing house and its location abroad related to the possibility of controlling foreign publications of Russian authors (primarily Maxim Gorky, who made generous donations for the Bolshevik party). The paper studies the history of involving Ivan D. Sytin, a major Russian entrepreneur and book publisher, into the publishing house activity. The author analyzes various literary sources for a possible connection of Sytin with the leftist publishers in different historical periods. The conclusion is made that there is no documentary evidence confirming Sytin and Ladyzhnikovs Publishing House cooperation. The author studied the documents found at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, which made it possible to document the fact of Sytins joining the Publishing House of I. Ladyzhnikov as a shareholder and establish his share in it. It is concluded that the collaboration of both I.D. Sytin and the Bolshevik party had a pragmatic character based on the analysis of previously unknown documents. The Bolsheviks received money from the Russian publisher used for the party needs, and Sytin got a reliable mechanism to distribute book products abroad through the Bolshevik publishing house. The article shows a special role of Maxim Gorky in attracting I.D. Sytin to cooperate with the Russian Social-Democratic party; as well as Sytins cautious attitude to Ladyzhnikov as Gorkys confidant and his attempts to get a direct contact with the writer without any negotiators. It describes Sytins prerevolutionary contacts with the Bolsheviks and their effect on his last years of life in Soviet Russia.