Kassil, Lev Abramovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kassil’, Lev Abramovich


Born June 27 (July 10), 1905, in the sloboda (tax-exempt settlement) of Pokrovskaia, the present-day city of Engels; died June 21, 1970, in Moscow. Soviet Russian writer; corresponding member of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR (1965).

Kassil’ was the son of a physician. He studied at the department of physics and mathematics of Moscow University. His first works were published in 1925. His work is imbued with a profound understanding of the child’s perception of the world and is directed mainly at young readers: The novels and novellas The Conduit (1930) and Shvambraniia (1933) are about the revolutionary events of 1917; The Goalie of the Republic (1938), about Soviet athletes; My Dear Little Boys (1944) and The Street of the Younger Son (1949, jointly with M. Polianovskii; State Prize of the USSR, 1950; film of the same name, 1962), about the life of Soviet children during the war; The Great Opposition (books 1–2, 1941-–7) and Early Rise (1953), about artists. Cheremysh, the Hero’s Brother (1938), The Gladiator’s Cup (1961), and Be Ready Your Highness! (1964) deal with acute ethical problems. Kassil’ also wrote publicistic books for children, such as Your Defenders (1942) and About a Very Good Life (1959).

The works of Kassil’ are marked by lyricism, humor, and expressive and precise language. His books have been translated into many foreign languages and into the languages of the peoples of the USSR. He has been awarded four orders and various medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–5. Moscow, 1965–66.
Tri strany, kotorykh net na karte. Moscow, 1970.
Avtobiografiia. In Sovetskiepisateli: Avtobiografii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.


Nikolaev, V. Dorogami mechty i poiska.Moscow, 1965.
Baruzdin, S. “Dobryi talant.” Literaturnaia gazeta, July 1, 1970.


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