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The Murder of Maxim Gorky: A Secret Execution ARKADY VAKSBERG, TRANS. FROM THE RUSSIAN BY TODD BLUDEAU. Enigma (www.enigmabooks.com), $23 paper (455p) ISBN 1-929631-63-4
Vaksbetg (Stalin's Prosecutor) unsympathetically traces the fascinating life of the Russian writer who became the so-called father of Soviet literature but who died in 1936, at age 68, under suspicious circumstances.
Drawing on new archival research and interviews, the author focuses on Gorky's activities as a cultural and political figure. Vaksberg starts with his subject's rise to literary prominence at the end of the 19th century and his imprisonment for anti-tsarist …