Vladimir Gromov was thirty-six years old when he was sentenced to death in 1935 for pretending to be someone he was not. Asserting the identity of a skilled engineer and award-winning architect, this man with only a middle school education once convinced the commissar of supply, Anastas Mikoian, to give him one million rubles. Now, the Moscow prosecutor and people's court insisted that he was a pretender, an impostor, a master con artist. Yet in his own mind, Gromov was an artist of a different sort. While in solitary confinement awaiting execution in Moscow's Taganka prison, Gromov wrote a play, complete with elaborate drawings and stage directions, which he submitted to the deputy procuratorgeneral of the USSR, Andrei Vyshinskii.