Before Alexis Carrington ruled over Dynasty there was Vassa Zheleznova, an unscrupulous matriarch with an iron will. After the death of her husband, Vassa ruthlessly tries to keep her self-indulgent children and a high-society brother-in-law from harming the family business. But will her family be destroyed by the very bourgeois values that she seeks to preserve? Vassa Zheleznova is Maxim Gorky's vivid portrait of the dissolution of Russian bourgeois society after years of materialism, unchecked ambition and greed. Considered the father of Soviet literature, Gorky was hailed by Chekhov as the voice of his time. He was a lifelong spokesperson for the underclass whose political activism led to several years of exile in spite of his popularity with Russian readers.