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Stalin's Apologist: Walter Duranty: The New York Times's Man in Moscow Hardcover – March 29, 1990


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A beautifully researched life of the high-living, cynical journalist who helped cover up Stalin's atrocities in the 1930s" --New York Times Book Review.

About the Author


About the Author:
S.J. Taylor is a writer living in London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (March 29, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195057007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195057003
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Well researched and beautifully written story of a Pulitzer-winning liar.
Big Guy
What helped me more is the fact it got here so quickly,I'am still waiting for B & N to send another book I ordered.
Joseph Ruggeri
She does a good job of showing the international support for Stalin and socialism.
jtq

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 65 people found the following review helpful By C. Trew on July 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Today, even the New York Times itself no longer praises Duranty or the Pulitzer prize he received for his false reporting from Russia for the Times. The NYT website admits on it's Pulitzer page that his reporting has been debunked by various sources. The fact that the terror famine in Ukraine in the early 1930's wiped out millions is simply not in dispute by any serious researchers anymore. What has not received in depth coverage, until now, is the major role Duranty's reporting played in shielding this massive horror from the rest of the world.
The terror famine in Ukraine was one of the great crimes of the 20th century. Yet it has remained obscured behind other mass murders, such as the Nazi "Final Solution" and the "Killing Fields" of the Khmer Rouge. This book fully documents how this tragic omission from the mainstream historical record came to pass.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By J. Adams on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Duranty was not just the "NY Times man in Moscow" but an opinion leader among the elite press in Soviet Russia during the establishment and consolidation of the "Evil Empire" into one of the most monstrous blights to ever infect humanity.

Taylor does a fantastic job of showing that Duranty not only assisted monsters like Stalin, but enabled him to commit a holocaust far bigger than Hitler's in his starvation of millions in the Ukraine,the imprisonment of millions in gulags which were death camps for millions more, and show trials that sent countless more to their deaths long before der Fuehrer showed up.

Duranty was a drunk, drug addict, and depraved sexual deviant who was as ugly inside as he was on the outside. He destroyed and dismissed honest reporters who attempted to alert the world to the evils of the Soviet Union, and lied through his teeth while reporting on Stalin's show trials that resulted in a police state that still holds the record for death and depravity.

And of course every time you see another NY Times reporter get another Pulitzer prize, you will find the one awarded to Duranty as proof that the rot at the Times goes back many, many decades. The Times has fought any attempt to take this award away, even though it was awarded for totally fictitious "reports" filed by Duranty.

Taylor does a great job with this book and it should be required reading for any journalism course on how a big newspaper does not necessarily make it a great newspaper.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
These past ten years have been something like a Golden Age for asleep-at-the-wheel journalism, but if Walter Duranty were still around, he'd be the revered old Hall-of-Famer this current reprehensible lot of talking heads and newsprint prostitutes would look up to.
Apparently, it only took a little bit of wining and dining by ueberthug Joseph Stalin to get Walter Duranty to abandon his professional ethics and human conscience. For nearly twenty years, the reporter lived in Moscow, and traveled throughout the Soviet Union, witnessing first-hand a near-constant stream of newsworthy atrocities, with narry a discouraging word to report to the Times' subscribers back home. His tenure spanned the period when wave afer bloody wave of political purges transformed the Soviet republics into a spattered, dripping abattoir. Neighbors on his own street, people he knew, were hauled off for NKVD interrogation, torture, and eventual liquidation, while Duranty posted bland missives about production goals, inconsequential human interest blurbs, and fawning anecdotes about Uncle Joe. If he mentioned the showtrials at all, it was merely to parrot back the official Pravda line. There was never an attempt to verify the validity of the charges, or the justice of the verdicts. In 1933, Duranty stood face-to-face with starving human beings in the Ukrane -the direct and avoidable result of Stalin's ill-conceived collectivization program. Instead of seizing the opportunity to call the world's attention to a mass starvation, Duranty meekly recorded a "disappointing" harvest. Over the years, growing comfortable with a high society life few in Russia could even dream of, the correspondent fashioned himself into something of a PR man for a "worker's paradise" that never came to pass.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Big Guy on June 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched and beautifully written story of a Pulitzer-winning liar. He covered up a mass extermination of people greater than the holocaust from the world. Hopefully, this superb book will give this story will get the exposure it demands. Remarkably, the New York Times refuses to return the award.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steve on July 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for people who think they can believe what they read in The New York Times. Duranty should have been sent down to the basement of the Lubyanka and left there, along with his lying cheating bosses and fellow traveler friends in the Roosevelt administration. It is important to remember that journalism is just as honest now as it was back then.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rostislav on May 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd like to thank the worthy author for her excellent research, which results in a very detailed portrait of her hero, while leaving enough space for readers' own conclusions and impressions. My own impression is that Duranty, being an undoubtedly gifted man (or rather gifted "superman", who, to judge from some contemporaries' opinions, never cared about any "lower beings" around him), found his ideal in Stalin. Soviet leader was as gifted and as inhuman – he never cared about Duranty as well, especially after the journalist ceased to be useful for his stratagems.
During the sixties, as a University student, I happened to know one of Duranty's heirs in the NYT Moscow bureau. It was Mr. Seymour Topping - by the way, years later he became the Pulitzer Committee chief. Thanks to this stealthy and adventurous acquaintance (ah, my last-moment escapes from KGB surveillance, our silent writings of quick notes in his bugged apartment etc!) my home was enriched by many wonderful books, and I was enriched by the general picture of a Western correspondent's work behind the Iron Curtain. They could print their real feelings no more than we could – that is, it was possible theoretically, but with a practical cross on their next visa into the USSR. Hence, their editors-in-chiefs, even if they weren't exactly pro-Kremlin, never supported honest reporting from Russia: first, it was too troublesome in purely bureaucratic sense (frequent personnel changes), second, it was too disharmonic in the sense of the ever-fashionable "peaceful coexistence". Some able correspondents were producing genuine masterpieces of Aesopian language, others were just storing their experiences to be printed later in a book form, after leaving Moscow forever.
As I now understand, Mr.
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