Vekhi (Russian: Вехи; "Landmarks" or "Signposts"), is a collection of seven essays published in Russia in 1909. It was distributed in five editions and elicited over two hundred published rejoinders in two years. The volume reappraising the Russian intelligentsia was a brainchild of the literary historian Mikhail Gershenzon, who edited it and wrote the introduction.
Founding of Symposium 
Pyotr Struve selected the contributors, five of whom had previously contributed to a 1902 volume, Problems of Idealism, and had attended the 1903 Schaffhausen Conference that laid the foundation for the Union of Liberation. A founder of the Constitutional Democratic (Cadet) Party in 1905, Struve had served in the Second Duma in 1907, then went on to edit the journal Russian Thought. In his essay he argued that the intelligentsia, because it had coalesced in the 1840s under the impact of atheistic socialism, owed its identity to standing apart from the government. Thus, when the government agreed to restructure along constitutional lines in 1905, the intelligentsia proved incapable of acting constructively toward the masses within the new framework.
Social criticism 
Bogdan Kistyakovsky discussed the intelligentsia's failure to develop a legal consciousness. Their insufficient respect for law as an ordering force kept courts of law from attaining the respect required in a modern society. Alexander Izgoyev (who, like Gershenzon, had not contributed to the 1902 anti-positivist volume) depicted contemporary university students as morally relativist, content merely to embrace the interests of the long-suffering people. Russian students compared very unfavorably to their French, German, and British counterparts, lacking application and even a sense of fair play.
Philosophical positions 
Nikolai Berdyayev, considering the intelligentsia's philosophical position, found utilitarian values had crowded out any interest in pursuing truth. Sergei Bulgakov showed how the intelligentsia had undertaken a heroic struggle for socialism and progress but lost sight of post-Reformation Europe's gains with respect to individual rights and personal freedom.
N. O. Lossky father of Vladimir Lossky also made periodic contributions to Vekhi. For Semen Frank, as for Gershenzon and Struve, the intelligentsia's failure of leadership in the 1905 revolution warranted a reappraisal of their fundamental assumptions. His essay emphasized the nihilistic sources of the intelligentsia's utilitarianism: material progress, national education, always viewed as a means to another end. Moreover, he saw Russian Marxists as obsessed by a populist drive to perfect society through redistribution and faulted them for their penchant for dividing all humanity into friends and enemies. Gershenzon asserted, in the book's most controversial sentence, that "so far from dreaming of union with the people we ought to fear the people and bless this government which, with its prisons and bayonets, still protects us from the people's fury."
The essays suggested Russia had reached a milestone and was ready for turning. Five of the contributors had earlier abandoned Marxism under the influence of neo-Kantian concerns over personal freedom and morality. They had participated in the establishment of a liberal political party, but now recoiled at the Cadet Party's recklessness and ineffectiveness in parliamentary politics. A modernist document, Vekhi called for a rethinking of the Enlightenment project of acculturation and proposed exploration of the depths of the self as an alternative to populist and nihilist programs.
- Philip Boobbyer, S. L. Frank: The Life and Work of a Russian Philosopher 1877-1950 (1995. Athens: Ohio University Press)
- Jeffrey Brooks, 'Vekhi and the Vekhi Dispute', in Survey 19(1), pp. 21–50, 1973.
- Samuel Kassow, Students, Professors, and the State in Tsarist Russia (1989. Berkeley: University of California Press)
- Leonard Schapiro, 'The Vekhi Group and the Mystique of Revolution', in Russian Studies, ed. E. Dahrendorf (1987. New York: Viking Penguin)
- N. Zernov, The Russian Religious Renaissance of the Twentieth Century (1963), esp. p.111-130