Arkady Gaidar

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Arkady Gaidar

Arkady Petrovich Golikov (Russian: Арка́дий Петро́вич Го́ликов; (22 January [O.S. 9 January] 1904 — 26 October 1941), better known as Arkady Gaidar (Арка́дий Гайда́р), was a Soviet writer, whose stories were very popular among Soviet children.

Life and career[edit]

Gaidar was born in the town of Lgov in Imperial Russia, now in Kursk Oblast, Russia, to a family of teachers. Gaidar spent his childhood in Arzamas. In August 1918, Gaidar became a member of the Bolsheviks, volunteering for the Red Army in December of that year, still aged only 14.[1] During the Russian Civil War, at the age of 16, he became commander of a regiment. He participated in the suppression of several anti-communist uprisings, among them the Antonovshchina uprising. On several occasions Gaidar was wounded in combat. He retired from the army in 1924 due to a contusion. A year later, Gaidar began publishing his literary works. His story "RVS" (1926) defined his further life in many respects: Gaidar found his vocation in writing children's literature, telling stories of front-line camaraderie and the romanticism of the revolutionary struggle. His story Timur and his squad (1940) made Gaidar famous. The character Timur was named after, and partially based on, Gaidar's son. A captivating account of an altruistic pioneer youth gave birth to the mass Timur movement among Young Pioneers and other children's organizations all over the Soviet Union.

In the first days of the World War II, Gaidar was sent to the front as a special correspondent for the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. In the fall of 1941, Gaidar and other soldiers were surrounded by German troops. He joined the partisans and became a machine gunner. On October 26, Gaidar died in combat.

He was interred in the town of Kanev, where a monument honoring him was erected in 1953. Gaidar was awarded two orders and several medals.

Three biographical movies about Arkady Gaidar were released in the USSR: Serebryanye truby (Russian: Silver Trumpets) (1970), Konets imperatora taygi (Russian: The Death of the Emperor of the Taiga) (1978), and Ostayus s vami (Russian: I'll Stay with You) (1981). The latter was a story of Arkady Gaidar's last days). And also a number of films was made based on his stories. Gaidar’s books have been translated into many languages.

Russian economist Yegor Gaidar was Arkady Gaidar's grandson; Yegor Gaidar's father, Rear Admiral Timur Gaidar, was his son.

English Translations[edit]

  • Timur and his Gang, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, 1943.
  • School and Other Stories, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1967.
  • The Blue Cup, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1981.
  • Selected Stories, Raduga Publishers, Moscow, 1986.
  • The Drummer Boy and Two Other Stories, Anchor Press Ltd, Great Britain.



  1. ^ Gribanov, Vladimir. "Аркадий Гайдар: романтика прицельного выстрела" ("Arkady Gaidar: Romance of an Aimed Shot"). Аргументы и факты (Argumenty i Fakty). 22 Oct. 2002. Argumenty i Fakty. Retrieved 26 Feb. 2009. (Russian)

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