1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kerensky, Alexander Feodorovich

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KERENSKY, ALEXANDER FEODOROVICH (1881–), Russian politician, was born in 1881, the son of the principal of a high school in Saratoff. He studied at the university of St. Petersburg, took part in students' disturbances there and was expelled, but was readmitted and eventually took his degree in law. He joined the St. Petersburg bar and practised for some years as a junior and as leader, often appearing in cases concerning abuses of the administration. When troubles broke out in Turkestan and were supported by military force, Kerensky went to the affected districts and published a scathing indictment of the policy of the Government in Central Asia. In 1912 he was elected to the Fourth Duma and joined the Group of Toil : he was in reality an adherent of the Social Revolutionary party, but as it was impossible in those days to enter the Duma under this flag he chose the Group of Toil in preference to the Social Democrats, whom he considered to be too pedantic and distant from the people. As a member of the Duma he attained a certain notoriety by impassioned speeches and appeals for root-and-branch reform, but he was never conspicuous for steady work or constructive statesmanship. When the first Revolutionary Government was formed people were astonished to hear that Kerensky had been nominated Minister of Justice. The explanation was that he served as a link between the new Government and the Soviet of Workmen and Soldiers. His career as member and head of the Provisional Government is described in the article Russia. He may be said to have played in Russia to some extent the part played by Lamartine in the French Revolution of 1848.