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Aleksei Nikolaevich, Count Tolstoi

Aleksei Nikolaevich, Count Tolstoi, USSR Author.

Background

  • Tolstoi, Aleksei Nikolaevich, Count was born in 1883 in into the family of one of the counts Tolstoi, though according to some information, an adopted son.

  • Education

    • Graduated from the Petersburg Technological Institute.

    Career

    • Brought up in the family of his stepfather, Bostroem. Started to write before World War I, as poet and prose writer, gaining fame with some of his stories on the subject of the impoverished aristocracy such as Khromoi Barin. During World War I, correspondent for the newspaper Russkie Vedomosti.

      After the October Revolution 1917, emigrated. Lived in Berlin and Paris. Wrote a novel about the fate of White Russian emigres (Road to Calvary).

      Soon realized that a refugee life meant only hardship, even for a known and relatively successful writer. Returned to the USSR in 1923, and began writing in the socialist realist style. As one of only a handful of Soviet writers with a European education and reputation among the new proletarian elite, was often used to represent Stalin’s USSR at international conferences (The International Congress of Writers, Paris, 1935, the London Congress of Culture, 1937).

      Nicknamed ‘Comrade Count’, he became a prominent member of the official literary establishment, and practically a courtier at Stalin’s court. Having started his novel about White emigres in the West, managed to change it in midstream in such a way that subsequent volumes appeared in the USSR, and the work was awarded the Stalin Prize. Wrote historical novels in which, under the guise of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, he glorified Stalin, and won 2 more Stalin Prizes.

      During World War II, prolific and effective member of the Soviet propaganda machine. Officially proclaimed a great writer, became in the Soviet Union a byword for limitless opportunism.
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    Born 1883
    Died 1945
    (aged 62)
    Nationality