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William Pokhlyobkin
Вильям Васильевич Похлёбкин
Born(1923-08-20)August 20, 1923
DiedMarch 2000 (aged 76–77)
CitizenshipSoviet Union (1923–1991) → Russia (1991-2000)
Alma materMoscow State Institute of International Relations
Known for
  • Culinary books
  • books about history
  • Urho Kekkonen's Medal (1986)
  • Langhe Ceretto Prize (1993)
  • Hugo Grotius Prize (1999)
Scientific career
  • History
  • Scandinavian studies
  • heraldry
  • international relations
InstitutionsInstitute of History at the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union

William Vasilyevich Pokhlyobkin (August 20, 1923 – April 15 (burial date), 2000; Russian: Ви́льям Васи́льевич Похлёбкин, Viliyam Vasilievich Pokhlyobkin) was a Soviet and Russian historian specializing in Scandinavian studies, heraldry, the diplomacy and international relations of Russia. He was also known as a geographer, journalist, expert on the history of Russian cuisine and the author of numerous culinary books.[1] His A History of Vodka has been translated into a number of languages, including English.


William Pokhlyobkin was born to Russian revolutionary Vasili Mikhailov (Михайлов Василий Михайлович). "Pokhlyobkin" was Mikhailov's underground nickname, derived from the word "Pokhlyobka [ru]" which is a Russian type of vegetable soup. Vasili named his son after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (VIL is an acronym which turned into William).

He took part in the Soviet-Finnish War and German-Soviet War as a private.[2] After his discharge from service, he studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from 1945–1949, and later did postgraduate courses in the Institute of History of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He became a Kandidat of Historical Sciences and a research member in the Institute of History in 1953. He founded the journal Skandinavskii sbornik ("Скандинавский сборник") and was its chief editor from 1955-1961. He was later a member of the editorial collegium of the journal Scandinavica.

In 1968 he was labeled a dissident because his book on tea was popular in dissident circles. He was barred from publication, thus was unable to finish his doctoral dissertation, and had to concentrate on his culinary hobby.[3] His book on Vodka has been criticized by Lev Usyskin for containing errors,[4] and a trademark dispute between the Soviet Union and Poland over usage of the word "vodka" that Pokhlyobkin supposedly provided research for did not occur.[5]

He was the author of over 50 books and a large number of articles. For a long time his books remained unpublished, and most of them were printed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Printed simultaneously in large numbers they gave rise to speculation that "Pokhlyobkin" was a pen name of a whole artel of writers.

In 1993 he was awarded Langhe Ceretto Prize, an international award for outstanding culinary writing, awarded by Ceretto Brothers winery on the basis of recommendations of an international committee.

Pokhlyobkin was found murdered in his apartment, in Podolsk somewhere between March 27 and 31, 2000. He was stabbed eleven times with a screwdriver and alcohol was found in his system despite being a teetotaler.[5] His dead body was uncovered by the chief editor of the Polyfakt publishing house, who was worried about the delay of the book Cuisine of the Century and came from Moscow to Podolsk to see Pokhlyobkin. A large number of his books on Scandinavian topics remain unpublished.

See also



History and Politics


  1. ^ "Щи да каша - Культура - Новая Газета". Новая Газета. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  2. ^ Ronald F. Feldstein (1999). "An Introduction to William Pokhlebkin and his Contributions to Russian Culture" (PDF). Issue 11. Golossos (DUKE University). p. 3. Retrieved 2022-06-09.
  3. ^ "Circumstances of creation of books on particular products (article in Russian)". Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  4. ^ Усыскин, Лев. Журналистика: ремесло и профессия (in Russian). Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b Mark Schrad (March 2014). Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy, and the Secret History of the Russian State. OUP USA. ISBN 978-0-19-975559-2.
  6. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1968). Cháy, egó típy, svóystva, upotreblénie Ча́й, его́ ти́пы, сво́йства, употребле́ние. [Tea: Types, Properties, and Use.]. Moscow: Food Industry.
  7. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1973). Vsyó o pryánostyakh Всё о пря́ностях. [Everything about Spices.]. Moscow: Food Industry.
  8. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1978). Natsionálnye kúkhni náshikh naródov Национа́льные ку́хни на́ших наро́дов. [The Ethnic Cuisines of our Peoples.]. Moscow: Light and Food Industry.
  9. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1979). Táyny khoróshey kúchni Та́йны хоро́шей ку́хни. [Secrets of Good Cooking.]. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya.
  10. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1983). Zanimátelnaya kulinaríya Занима́тельная кулинари́я. [Cooking for Fun.]. Moscow: Light and Food Industry.
  11. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1988). O kulinaríi ot A do Yá. Slovár'-Správochnik О кулина́рии от А до Я. Слова́рь-спра́вочник. [On Culinary from A to Z. A Reference Book.]. Minsk: Polymya. ISBN 5-34500218-5.
  12. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1991). Istóriya Vódki Исто́рия во́дки. [A History of Vodka.]. Moscow: Inter-Verso. ISBN 5-85217-012-7.
  13. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1992). A History of Vodka. Translated by Clarke, Renfrey. Moscow: Verso-Books. ISBN 0-86091-359-7.
  14. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1993). Kúshat pódano! Repertuár kúshaniy i napítkov v rússkoy klassícheskoy dramaturgíi s kontsá XVIII do nachála XX stolétiya Ку́шать по́дано! Репертуа́р ку́шаний и напи́тков в ру́сской класси́ческой драматурги́и с конца́ XVIII — до нача́ла XX столе́тия. [The Dinner is Served! Repertoire of Food and Beverages in the Russian Classical Dramas from the End of the 18th Century to the Beginning of the 20th Century.]. Moscow: Artist, Director and Theater. ISBN 5-87334-079-X.
  15. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1995). Cháy i vódka v istórii Rossíi Ча́й и во́дка в исто́рии Росси́и. [Tea and Vodka in the History of Russia.]. Krasnoyarsk. ISBN 5-7479-0603-8.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  16. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1996). Kulinárniy slovár' Кулина́рный слова́рь. [Culinary Dictionary.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-218-00252-6.
  17. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1997). Iz istórii rússkoy kulinárnoy kultúry Из исто́рии ру́сской кулина́рной культу́ры. [From the History of Russian Culinary Culture.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-218-00736-6.
  18. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1997). Istóriya vazhnéyshikh píshevykh prodúktov Исто́рия важне́йших пищевы́х проду́ктов [History of Essential Foodstuff.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-218-00227-5.
  19. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1999). Povárennoe iskússtvo i povarskíe priklády Пова́ренное иску́сство и поварски́е прикла́ды. [Culinary Arts and Cooking Accessories.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-218-00208-9.
  20. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1999). Moyá kúkhnya i moyó menyú Моя́ ку́хня и моё меню́. [My Cuisine and My Menu.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-227-00188-X.
  21. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1999). Povárennoe iskússtvo Пова́ренное иску́сство. [Culinary arts.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf.
  22. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (2000). Kúkhnya véka Ку́хня ве́ка. [Cuisine of the Century.]. Moscow: Polifakt. ISBN 5-93-806-001-X.
  23. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (2003). Bolsháya entsiklopédiya kulinárnogo iskússtva Больша́я энциклопе́дия кулина́рного иску́сства [Great Encyclopedia of Culinary Art.]. Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-227-01728-X.
  24. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1955). Dániya Да́ния. [Denmark.]. Moscow: Geografgiz.
  25. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1956). Shvétsiya, Norvégiya, Dániya, Islándia Шве́ция, Норве́гия, Да́ния, Исла́ндия. [Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland.]. Moscow: Geografgiz.
  26. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1957). Norvégiya Норве́гия. [Norway.]. Moscow: Geografgiz.
  27. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1958). Skandinávskiye strány i SSSR Скандина́вские стра́ны и СССР. [Scandinavian Countries and USSR.]. Moscow: Znaniye.
  28. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1961). Finlyándiya i Sovétskiy Soyúz Финля́ндия и Сове́тский Сою́з. [Finland and the Soviet Union.]. Moscow: Znaniye.
  29. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1966). Báltika i bor'bá za mir Ба́лтика и борьба́ за мир. [The Baltic and the Fight for Peace.]. Moscow: Znaniye.
  30. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1967). Gosudárstvenniy Stróy Islándii Госуда́рственный стро́й Исла́ндии. [State System of Iceland.]. Moscow: Yuridicheskaya Literatura.
  31. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1975). SSSR - Finlyándiya. 260 let otnoshéniy (1713—1973) СССР — Финля́ндия: 260 лет отноше́ний (1713—1973). [USSR - Finland. 260 Years of Relations (1713—1973).]. Moscow: International Relations.
  32. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1985). Úrkho Káleva Kékkonen. Politícheskaya biográfia У́рхо Ка́лева Ке́кконен. Полити́ческая биогра́фия. [Urho Kaleva Kekkonen. Political Biography.]. Moscow: International Relations.
  33. ^ Pohljobkin, Viljam (1988). Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (in Estonian). Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. ISBN 5-450-00049-9.
  34. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1989). Mezhdunaródnaya simvólika i emblemátika Междунаро́дная симво́лика и эмблема́тика. [Dictionary of International Symbols and Emblems.]. Moscow: International Relations. ISBN 5-7133-0254-7.
  35. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (2000). Tatáry i Rus'. 360 let otnoshéniy Rusí s tatárskimi gosudárstvami v XIII-XVI vv., 1238-1598 gg. (Ot bítvy na reké Sit' do pokoréniya Sibíri) Тата́ры и Русь. 360 лет отноше́ний Руси́ с тата́рскими госуда́рствами в XIII-XVI вв., 1238-1598 гг. (От би́твы на реке́ Сить до покоре́ния Сиби́ри). [Tatars and Rus. 360 Years of Relations between Rus and Tatar States in 13-16 Centuries, 1238-1598 (from the Battle on the River Sit' to the Conquering of Siberia).]. Moscow: International Relations. ISBN 5-7133-1008-6.
  36. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1992). Vnéshnaya polítika Rusí, Rossíi, SSSR za 1000 let v imenákh, dátakh i fáktakh Вне́шняя поли́тика Руси́, Росси́и, СССР за 1000 лет в имена́х, да́тах и фа́ктах [Foreign Policy of Rus, Russia, USSR for 1000 Years, in Names, Dates and Facts. A Reference Book.]. Moscow: International Relations. ISBN 5-7133-0529-5.
  37. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1996). Velikiy psevdonim Вели́кий псевдони́м. [The Great Pseudonym.]. Moscow: Yudit.
  38. ^ Pokhlyobkin, William (1997). Velíkaya voyná i nesostoyávshiysya mir 1941 - 1945 - 1994. Voénno-politícheskiy správochnik po istórii Velíkoy Otéchestvennoy Voyný i ee mezhdunaródno-pravovým poslédstviyam s 22 iyúnya 1941 g. po 31 ávgusta 1994 g. Вели́кая война́ и несостоя́вшийся мир 1941 - 1945 - 1994. Вое́нно-полити́ческий спра́вочник по исто́рии Вели́кой Оте́чественной Войны́ и её междунаро́дно-правовы́м после́дствиям с 22 ию́ня 1941 г. по 31 ма́рта 1994 г. [The Great War and the Peace that Never Happened 1941 - 1945 - 1994. A Military and Foreign-Policy Reference Book on the History of the Great Patriotic War and its International Legal Aftereffects from June 22nd 1941 to August 31st 1994.]. Moscow: International Relations. ISBN 5-7287-0102-7.