The article considers the biography and works of the Russian agricultural economist and statistician A. F. Fortunatov (1856–1925), and focuses on the paradoxical duality of the contemporaries’ estimates of this scientist as an empirical researcher and at the same time as a bright thinker. The author traces the influence of Fortunatov’s ideas on the formation of the ideology and theory of “social agronomy”, his contribution to the theory of non-capitalist economy, his new forms and methods of teaching “agricultural economy” and statistics, which became the intellectual preconditions for the development of the “organization-production approach”. Based on the archival data the author claims that Fortunatov introduced the term “biological technology”; emphasizes the unique ideological position of Fortunatov, who was an expert in the theoretical and empirical shades of marxism, liberalism and populism in the agrarian question, and an adherent of populism who never expressed his personal criticism or approval of the turbulent social-political changes and reforms in Russia in the early XX century. The article identifies the milestones in the research and teaching career of professor Fortunatov, considers the encyclopedic diversity of his interests and publications, however sometimes of too propaedeutic-popular character. The author believes that Fortunatov was an outstanding teacher of the Russian higher school, and his grateful students can be found not only among a number of famous professors of the organization-production school, but also among hundreds and even thousands of Russian agrarians — famous and unknown, who made a significant contribution to the modernization and development of rural Russia in the first half of XX century. One of the key achievements of Fortunatov is that he reconsidered the object of the Russian agrarian economics and reoriented it from the organization of large private farms to the study of peasant economy.
history of agrarian-economic thought, theory of peasant economy, social agronomy, organization-production school, A. F. Fortunatov, Petrovskaya Academy
Kuznetsov Igor A., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.