Nikolai Bukharin

Nikolai Bukharin
Никола́й Буха́рин
Nikolai Bukharin in 1930
General Secretary of the Executive
Committee of the Communist International
In office
November 1926  April 1929
Preceded byGrigori Zinoviev
Succeeded byVyacheslav Molotov
Editor-in-chief of Pravda
In office
November 1918  April 1929
Preceded byJoseph Stalin
Succeeded byMikhail Olminsky
Full member of the 13th, 14th, 15th Politburo
In office
2 June 1924  17 November 1929
Candidate member of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Politburo
In office
8 March 1919  2 June 1924
Personal details
Born
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin

(1888-10-09)9 October 1888
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died15 March 1938(1938-03-15) (aged 49)
Kommunarka shooting ground, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of deathExecution
Resting placeKommunarka shooting ground
NationalityRussian
Political partyRSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1906–1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918–1937)
Spouse(s)Nadezhda Lukin, Esfir' Gurvich, Anna Larina
ChildrenSvetlana Gurvich, Yuri Larin
ParentsIvan Gavrilovich and Liubov Ivanovna Bukharin
Alma materImperial Moscow University (1911)
Known forEditor of Pravda, Izvestia, author of The Politics and Economics of the Transition Period, Imperialism and World Economy, co-author of The ABC of Communism, principal framer of the Soviet Constitution of 1936

Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Буха́рин) (9 October [O.S. 27 September] 1888 – 15 March 1938) was a Bolshevik revolutionary, Soviet politician, Marxist philosopher and economist and prolific author on revolutionary theory.

As a young man, he spent six years in exile working closely with fellow exiles Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. After the revolution of February 1917, he returned to Moscow, where his Bolshevik credentials earned him a high rank in the party, and after the October Revolution became editor of their newspaper Pravda.

Within the Bolshevik Party, Bukharin was initially a left communist, but gradually moved to the right from 1921. His strong support for and defence of the New Economic Policy (NEP) eventually saw him lead the Right Opposition. By late 1924, this stance had positioned Bukharin favourably as Joseph Stalin's chief ally, with Bukharin soon elaborating Stalin's new theory and policy of Socialism in One Country. Together, Bukharin and Stalin ousted Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev from the party at the 15th Communist Party Congress in December 1927. From 1926 to 1929, Bukharin enjoyed great power as General Secretary of the Comintern's executive committee. However, Stalin's decision to proceed with collectivisation drove the two men apart, and Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo in 1929.

When the Great Purge began in 1936, some of Bukharin's letters, conversations and tapped phone-calls indicated disloyalty. Arrested in February 1937, Bukharin was charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. After a show trial that alienated many Western communist sympathisers, he was executed in March 1938.