His early plays Konstantin Terekhin (1926) and Rel'sy gudyat (The rails are humming, 1927) "caused a sensation," but Khleb (Bread, 1931) "had but an ephemeral success." His later Chudesny splav (The miraculous alloy, 1934) was still popular in the 1960s. At the beginning of 1937, however, Kirshon fell out of favor due to his close association with Leopold Averbakh, former head of RAPP and brother-in-law of Genrikh Yagoda. At a public meeting he was relentlessly attacked by Vsevolod Vishnevsky for associating with an "enemy of the people" and criticizing decisions of the Politburo; he attempted to defend himself, but was expelled from the Party and the Writers' Union and soon disappeared from Moscow. In August 1937 he was arrested along with other former RAPP leaders as Trotsky sympathizers, and the next year he was executed at Butyrka prison in Moscow. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1955 and his plays performed again.