Pavel Ivanovich Lebedev-Polianskii (21 December 1881 – 2 January 1948) was Bolshevik revolutionary and later state functionary and literary scholar.
Born Pavel Lebedev in Melenki, Vladimir Oblast he became active in the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1902. In 1908, he went into exile in Geneva where he stayed until returning to Russia in 1917. In 1914, he reconstituted Vpered arguing that the reason so many European socialists supported the First World War indicated that socialist ideology was weak - something which could be addressed by scientific and socialist education. He also used the pseudonym Valerian Polianskii.
He joined the Bolsheviks in August 1917. From 1917 - 1919, he was commissar of the literature and publishing department of the People's Commissariat for Education, where he organised new editions of works of classic Russian literature. From 1918 to 1920, he was chairman of the All-Russian Council of Proletkult during which time he edited Proletarskaya Kul'tura with Fedor Kalinin.
In 1921, he became director of Glavlit, a post he held until 1930. From 1928–1930, he edited Literatura i marksizm (Literature and Marxism). He was also a member of the editorial board of the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
From 1934–1939, he edited Literaturnaia entsiklopediia (Literary Encyclopedia).
He published a number of books:
Lenin and Literature, (1924)
Three Great Russian Democrats, (1938)
He was awarded the Order of Lenin.