Maxim Gorky, pseudonym of Alexei Maksimovich Peshkov, Soviet novelist, playwright & essayist, who was a founder of social realism. Although known principally as a writer, he was closely associated with the tumultuous revolutionary period of his own country. Of all Gorky's novels, The Artamonov Business ('Decadence' in the USA edition) is the most impressive & dramatic. Here in concentrated form is the tragic failure of Russia's middle classes in the decades before the Revolution, seen in the small town microcosm of a family of textile manufacturers.
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