Koltsov, Mikhail Efimovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kol’tsov, Mikhail Efimovich


(pseudonym of Mikhail Efimovich Fridliand). Born May 31 (June 12), 1898, in Kiev; died Apr. 4, 1942. Soviet Russian author. Journalist, public figure, and corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1938). Member of the CPSU from 1918.

The son of a craftsman, Kol’tsov published his first work in 1916. He was an active participant in the February Revolution and in the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. From 1922 he was a regular contributor of topical satires and essays to Pravda. As a writer and publicist, Kol’tsov fought indefatigably for the ideas of October. He responded with energy and talent to the important and pressing problems of contemporary life. In many of his works he lashed out angrily at the negative phenomena of reality, mocked bureaucrats and time-servers (the satirical short story “Ivan Vadimovich, A Man Satisfying Requirements,” 1933, and the topical satires “Many Campaigners,” 1927, and “On the Question of Obtuseness,” 1931), and mercilessly exposed the enemies of Soviet power (for example, the topical satires and essays “Khlestakov at Gatchina,” 1922, “In the Beast’s Lair,” 1932, and “Dimitrov Accuses,” 1933). At the same time, Kol’tsov was a great master of the “positive” topical satire, which was stamped with the features of the new society and permeated with the struggle of the people for a new life (“145 Lines of Lyrics,” 1924, “The Birth of the First-born,” 1925, “Dacha—What a Dacha!”, 1929, and “A Brave, Strong Fighter: In Memory of N. Ostrovskii,” 1936).

Kol’tsov fought in the national-revolutionary war in Spain, and in 1936–37 he published a long series of essays in Pravda, which were included in the collection Spanish Diary (1938). The founder and editor of the journals Ogonek, Chudak, and Krokodil, he was the head of the Newspaper Journalists’ Association. He and M. Gorky prepared the well-known collection Day of Peace (1937). He was a deputy at the First Convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Kol’tsov was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other Orders, and various medals.


Isbr. proizv., vols. 1–3. [Introductory article by D. Zaslavskii.] Moscow, 1957.
Pisatel’ v gazete: Vystupleniia, stat’i, zametki. Moscow, 1961.


Mikhail Kol’tsov, kakim on byl: Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1965. [Gural’nik, U. A.] “Mikhail Kol’tsov.” In Istoriia russkoi sovetskoi literatury, vol. 2, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.
Rubashkin, A. Mikhail Kol’tsov: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Leningrad, 1971.
Russkie sovetskie pisateli-prozaiki: Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1964.


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