Gold, Michael

Gold, Michael (b. Itzok Isaac Granich)

(?1893–1967) writer, editor, journalist, playwright; born in New York City. The son of Romanian-and Hungarian-Jewish immigrants, he left school at age 12 and worked for the Adams Express Company (1905–12). Drawn to radical-Marxist thought, he published articles and short stories in socialist publications and saw three of his one-act plays produced by the Provincetown Players in New York. He went to Mexico to escape the draft during World War I and returned to New York to work as an editor on the Liberator (1920) and then founded and edited the New Masses (1926–c. 1935). He also contributed columns to the Communist newspaper, the Daily Worker (1933–67), and in defending Stalinism against the Trotskyites, he attacked fellow American leftist-liberal writers he felt had betrayed the cause. His own preference was for "proletarian literature," a term he coined, and his best-known novel, Jews Without Money (1930), is in that genre.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gold, Michael


(pseudonym of Irving Granich). Born Apr. 12. 1894. on the East Side in New York City, died May 15. 1967. in San Francisco. American writer, publicist, and critic. Born into an immigrant Jewish family.

Gold participated in the socialist movement beginning in 1914 and in the communist movement in the USA beginning in 1919. He was a contributor and then editor of the magazine New Masses. In 1921 he formulated the tasks of new revolutionary art in the programmatic article “Towards Proletarian Literature.” The theme of the collection of stories and poems 1 20 Million (1929; Russian translation, 1930) was the awakening of class consciousness among working people. The autobiographical novel Jews Without Money (1930; Russian translation, The Jewish Poor. 1931) portrays the life of the poor on the East Side. Gold was the author of the collection of articles Change the World! (1936). Together with M. Blankfort, he also wrote the historical drama Battle Hymn (1936; Russian translation, John Brown, 1937), glorifying the fighter for the emancipation of the Negroes. In the collection of articles Hollow Men (1941) Gold condemned decadents and renegades of the progressive movement. In 1952 he published a cycle of poems entitled Spring in the Bronx.


The Mike Gold Reader. New York, 1954.
In Russian translation:
Prokliatyi agitator. Moscow, 1925.


Carmon, W. “Maikl Gold i -N’iu = Messes.’ 1911–1916–1941.” Internatsionainaia literatura. 1941, no. 5.
Lawson, J. H. “The Stature of Michael Gold.” Political Affairs. June 1967. no. 6, pp. 10–14.


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