By Cheryl Heckler

Idealistic American Edmund Stevens arrived in Moscow in 1934 to do his half for the development of overseas Communism. His task writing propaganda ended in an unintentional profession 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 occupation reporting at the Russo-Finnish struggle in 1939 and was once the Christian technological know-how display screen s first guy within the box to hide battling in international battle II. He stated at the Italian invasion of Greece, participated in Churchill s Moscow assembly with Stalin as a employees translator, and special 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 gentle 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 present day may possibly good emulate.

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10 • • • Meeting Nina • • • That fall I enrolled in a Moscow University extension class. The curriculum covered grammar, history, and politics, all well laced with Marxism-Leninism. In the class was my future wife, Nina Andreyevna Bondarenko. Just twenty-two years old, she already had a colorful biography. She was born on the Asian side of the Urals, in a village where her father, who was of Ukrainian-Cossack ancestry, was schoolmaster. Later the family moved to Orenberg. During the Spanish Civil War, when the city kept changing hands, her father narrowly escaped being shot when the Reds mistook his teacher’s uniform for that of a Tsarist officer.

The difference was that Stalin was to apply the policy of squeezing out the sinews of industrialization with a speed and brutality that undoubtedly went beyond the wildest dreams 2. , 149. 3. Adam Bruno Ulam, A History of Soviet Russia (New York: Praeger, 1976), 59. ”4 In 1928, Stalin launched the “second revolution,” a program designed to convert the Soviet Union into a fully socialist state. He repudiated and reversed the NEP and assumed total control over all aspects of the economy. In 1929, the country launched Stalin’s first Five-Year Plan, a ridiculously ambitious plan to transform the nation into an industrial, economic, and social powerhouse.

9. Edmund Stevens, memoirs, 22–24. 010 p1c1 (27-44) 38 9/18/07 5:59 PM Page 38 An Accidental Journalist • • • Prior to the purge, the attitude toward foreigners was fairly relaxed. Russians are by temperament gregarious. And I formed friendships that were to last, with interruptions, to this day. There were virtually no travel restrictions on foreigners. One simply bought a rail ticket to where one wished to go, save for a comparatively few restricted areas. My closest friend at that time was an Italian who also worked in the Comintern.

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