Boris Nikolaevich Polevoi

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polevoi, Boris Nikolaevich


(real surname Kampov). Born Mar. 4 (17), 1908, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer and public figure. Hero of Socialist Labor (1974). Member of the CPSU since 1940.

Polevoi graduated from an industrial technicum in Tver’ in 1926. He fought in the Soviet-Finnish War (1939–40). During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) he was a war correspondent for Pravda. Polevoi’s first novella, written in the form of a sketch, was Memoirs of a Louse-ridden Man (1927); a later novella was The Hot Factory Shop (1939). His book The Tale of a Real Man (1946; State Prize of the USSR, 1947; film of the same name, 1948) was based on the exploits of the pilot A. P. Mares’ev, Hero of the Soviet Union. It gained renown in the Soviet Union and abroad.

The Soviet people’s heroism in the war years and during the postwar reconstruction were themes of the collection of sketches and short stories We Are Soviet People (1948; State Prize of the USSR, 1949) and of such novels as Gold (1949–50; film of the same name, 1970), Far Back on the Home Front (1958), On the Wild Shore (1962; film of the same name, 1966), and Doctor Vera (1966; film of the same name, 1968). The essay collections American Diaries (1956; International Peace Prize, 1959), Through the Wide World (1958), and Thirty Thousand Li Through China (1957) dealt with Polevoi’s trips abroad.

Since 1962, Polevoi has been editor in chief of the journal Iunost’ (Youth), and since 1967 secretary of the administrative board of the Writers’ Union of the USSR. He is a member of the bureau of the World Peace Council and of the Presidium of the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace. Since 1952 he has been vice-president of the European Society of Culture.

Polevoi has been awarded two orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, and six other orders, as well as several medals. He has also received the Gold Medal of the World Peace Council (1968) and a number of foreign orders and medals. Many of his works have been translated into foreign languages.


Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1969.
Chelovek—cheloveku: Povesti. Moscow, 1971.
Eti chetyregoda: Iz zapisok voennogo korrespondenta, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1974.


Galanov, B. Boris Polevoi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.
Leonov, B. “Krasota podviga.” Znamia, 1971, no. 3.
Mikhailova, L. “Otrazhenie istorii v cheloveke.” Novyi mir, 1974, no. 5.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 3. Moscow, 1964.


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