This man of versatile talents – politician, publicist, diplomat, play-writer and poet, orator and critic, as well as erudite, science and art connoisseur – was born in provincial city of Poltava in the family of high official Antonov (surname Lunacharsky was the one of his stepfather). He got acquainted with Marxism at Kiev grammar school and developed his knowledge of it at the University of Zurich. Philosophical strivings led him to the Bolshevik party. Lunacharsky took an active part in both the first Russian revolution and October one. The proletarians were extremely lucky to have Lunacharsky in their ranks. He believed that the cultural heritage of the past belonged to proletariat and did his best to introduce culture to common people. He promoted public education, opened museums and theaters, as well as protected scientists from pursuit on the part of the All-Russia Special Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Speculation and Sabotage. He was a brilliant scientist himself – an expert in fine arts and literature. His heritage as a specialist and critic is a real encyclopedia of art of early 20th century. As for the real encyclopedia, Lunacharsky had a finger in the pie too – the Literary Encyclopedia started being compiled with his participation. Lunacharsky was the chairman of Academic Committee under the Council of People’s Commissars, director at the Pushkin House – Institute of Russian Literature, academician and educator. He left fond memories of himself. However, Lunacharsky did not delude himself with regards to quick victory of cultural revolution in Russia. They say that a student once asked Lunacharsky about a way to become an intellectual. “This task demands graduating from three universities,” the People’s Commissar of Education, “Your grandfather, father and you should get university education.”
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