Vishnyakova Yulia

Education through the example: eighty years of the biographical series Жизнь замечательных людей (“Lives of remarkable people”) of the publishing house Молодая гвардия

Vishnyakova Yulia (2019) "Education through the example: eighty years of the biographical series Zhizny zamechatelynih lyudey (“Lives of remarkable people”) of the publishing house Molodaia gvardiia ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2019, vol. 53, pp. 120-132 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201953.120-132


The series “Lives of Remarkable People” over the years of its existence has become a sui generis quality mark. Books of this series are often recommended by teachers to their students when there arise questions about life and work of a certain historical fi gure. They are also off ered as extracurricular reading and are a source of life experience for contemporary young people, this experience being not superfi cial but refi ned, checked many times, time-honoured, having absorbed features of many fates and periods which are impossible to anybody to go through in their life, but are possible to be assimilated, internalised and acquired through reading. Last year, 2018, was 85 years since the moment when the series was initiated by Журнально-газетное объединение (“Association of Magazines and Newspapers”) and 80 years since the series started to come out in the publishing house Молодая гвардия. Contemporary readers of the series are well familiar with its current layout, repertoire, numbers of copies printed. In this article, we would like to address its origins, the fi rst decennia of the existence of the series and, consequently, to the formative period of its famous image. The study has shown that from 1933 to 1959, 264 biographies were published, the numbers of their copies being 15,000 — 100,000. These biographies were written by the best authors. Biographies of writers, poets, and scholars were prevailing as to the numbers of editions during all the three decades. The number of reprinted editions was increasing, which demonstrates the popularity of the series with its readers. Despite difficult periods and circumstances in the history of the country, the series continued to be published and did not lose its standards. The layout was transforming and was acquiring its distinguished style. The history of the series contunues nowadays as well. The idea of the series — moral education based on the biography of an outstanding person — is still living, though its ideology has broadened. The series has good reasons to promote continuous moral education, desire for knowledge and for obtaining authoritative information, developing aesthetical and literary taste, making people accustomed to thoughtful reading.


Lives of Remarkable People (series of biographies), Young Guard (publishing house), book series, biographical series, example, education, pedagogy, publishing, Pavlenkov, Gorky


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Information about the author

Vishnyakova Yulia

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: Russian State Library; 3/5, Vozdvizhenka str., 119019, Moscow, Russian Federation;
Post: Senior Researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0001-8706-6106;
Email: muzkn2@rambler.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.