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Russian novelist, born in 1901 near Kalinin. He became a communist in 1918 and fought in Siberia. Deeply influenced by Tolstoy, his most acclaimed work is The Young Guard (1946).

As General Secretary of the Soviet Writers' Union at the height of Stalin's rule he ruthlessly and mercilessly exposed any literary "deviationism" from the party line, but after becoming a target himself he committed suicide in Moscow in 1956.

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