There is a new biography of Gagarin out in Russian. I’m trying to get a hold of it (by Lev Danilkin, a prominent literary critic in Russia, titled Iurii Gagarin). I’ve read excerpts posted on line at the Molodaya Gvardiya publishers in Moscow:
They have a series of biographies on prominent people in Russian and world history. What I’ve read is really good. This could be the first attempt to sort out the Gagarin phenomenon in Russian. The author has cast a wide net in interviews with acquaintances, colleagues, etc. And he covers some terrain that I cover regarding Gagarin’s education which I had hoped I would be the first to discuss! Oh well. I hear it will be translated into English. It’s interesting that it has taken so long for anyone in Russia to attempt to write a biography of the real and profane Gagarin — as opposed to the sacred one of Soviet hagiography. At any rate, I suspect this book will be a must read for historians of 20th century Russia — and one that I will have to cite in my own Gagarin work.