Alexei Maximovich Peshkov 28 March 1868 - 18 June 1936, primarily kwn as Maxim (Maksim) Gorky was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the Socialist realism literary method and a political activist. Gorky's reputation grew as a unique literary voice from the bottom strata of society and as a fervent advocate of Russia's social, political, and cultural transformation. By 1899, he was openly associating with the emerging Marxist social-democratic movement, which helped make him a celebrity among both the intelligentsia and the growing numbers of conscious workers. At the heart of all his work was a belief in the inherent worth and potential of the human person. In his writing, he counterposed individuals, aware of their natural dignity, and inspired by energy and will, with people who succumb to the degrading conditions of life around them.