By Cheryl Heckler
Idealistic American Edmund Stevens arrived in Moscow in 1934 to do his half for the development of foreign Communism. His activity writing propaganda ended in an unintentional occupation in journalism and an eventual Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his uncensored descriptions of Stalin s purges. The longest-serving American-born correspondent operating from in the Soviet Union, Stevens begun his journalism profession reporting at the Russo-Finnish battle in 1939 and used to be the Christian technology video display s first guy within the box to hide battling in international warfare II. He mentioned at the Italian invasion of Greece, participated in Churchill s Moscow assembly with Stalin as a employees translator, and exotic himself as a correspondent with the British military in North Africa. Drawing on Stevens s memoirs in addition to his articles and correspondence, Heckler sheds new mild on either the general public and the non-public Stevens, portraying a reporter adapting to new roles and situations with a ability that reporters this day may well good emulate.
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Additional info for An Accidental Journalist: The Adventures of Edmund Stevens, 1934-1945
29 010 p1c1 (27-44) 30 9/18/07 5:59 PM Page 30 An Accidental Journalist heart of Moscow, the Comintern was the international organization of Communist parties from around the globe, and its highest priority was providing support for the new Communist regime in Russia. The Comintern would be Stevens’s first employer. It had been twelve years since Lenin had launched the New Economic Policy (NEP). Although this policy was initially designed to make temporary concessions to the peasantry after the civil war, it offered limited economic growth and soon transformed into a dysfunctional and destabilizing force.
Like at the Astoria in Leningrad, the personnel retained much of their traditional, old-world manners and courtesy. In those days the beach and the water were neither crowded nor polluted. Much as now the holiday makers mostly sunned themselves on the pebbly beach or clustered under umbrellas playing proferance, a Russian relative to whist, for high stakes. They were always watching for militia because gambling was strictly taboo. There were other restrictions as I discovered when I ventured out of the hotel in shorts.
Like almost everything in the Soviet-planned economy, the publishing house had a plan to fulfill so many pages and so many titles, each with a deadline. More than half of the material was ideological and heavy-going like Stalin’s Problems of Leninism. There were also belles lettres, with proper political slant, and sundry guidebooks. As I did not have a working command of Russian, I was relegated to translating from Italian and French into English. My initial assignment was to translate A Barber’s Memoirs from Italian.