Boris Leontevich Gorbatov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gorbatov, Boris Leont’evich


Born July 2 (15), 1908, at the Petromar’evsk Mine, present-day Pervomaisk, Voroshilovgrad Oblast; died Jan. 20, 1954, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer. Became a member of the CPSU in 1930.

Gorbatov published his first story, “The Full and the Hungry,” in the newspaper Vsesoiuznaia Kochegarka in 1922. His tale The Cell, dedicated to the life of Komsomol members in the 1920’s, brought him fame. In the 1930’s, Gorbatov worked as an essayist for Pravda and published the books of sketches Mountain March (1932), Comintern (1932), and The Masters (1933). His tale My Generation (1933) depicts the revolutionary enthusiasm of the first five-year plan, and the book of stories The Normal Arctic deals with the heroism of conquering the north. During World War II, Gorbatov was a war correspondent. His talent was clearly revealed in his publicistic works, including Letters to a Comrade (1941–42), Aleksei Kulikov, Fighter . . . (1942), and Stories About a Soldier’s Soul. The tale The Unsubdued (1943; State Prize of the USSR, 1946) very forcefully portrays the patriotism and unbending will of the Soviet people. Gorbatov’s postwar works include the sketches In Japan and the Philippines (1946–47; issued under the title A Person From the Eta Class, 1953), and the screenplay Donets Miners (1950, with V. M. Alekseev; State Prize of the USSR, 1952). Book 1 of his novel Donbas (1951), which is devoted to Soviet youth in the 1930’s and the birth of the Stakhanovite movement, is outstanding for its romantic emotionality. The play One Night (1956) and the unfinished novel Aleksei Gaidash (1955) were published posthumously. An ardent, emotional treatment of events and an elevated tone are characteristic of Gorbatov’s writing style. His main heroes are miners, whose labor and way of life he knew well. He was awarded three orders and medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–5. Moscow, 1955–56.


Kolesnikova, G. Boris Gorbatov. Moscow, 1957.
Karpova, V. M. Chuvstvo vremeni. Moscow, 1970.
Galin, B. Boris Gorbatov. Moscow, 1964.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliografich. ukazatel’, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.