Isaak Babel', Russian/Soviet writer, was born in 1894, in Odessa. In 1915 he moved to Petrograd, where he met Maksim Gorky,
who became his friend and mentor. He published Babel's two short stories in the
Letopis' magazine. Gorky advised the aspiring writer to gain more life experience. According to one of Babel's stories,
Doroga (The Road), he served on the Romanian front until early December 1917. He resurfaced in Petrograd in March 1918 as a reporter
for Gorky's newspaper,
Novaya zhizn (New Life). During the Russian Civil War, Babel' worked for the publishing house of the Odessa Gubkom (regional CPSU Committee),
in the food procurement unit in the Narkompros (People's Commissariat of Education), and in a typographic printing office.