“Short, unattractive, hobbling about Stalin’s Moscow on a wooden leg, Walter Duranty was an unlikely candidate for the world’s most famous foreign correspondent. Yet for almost twenty years, his articles filled the front page of The New York Times with gripping coverage of the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. A witty, engaging, impish character with a flamboyant lifestyle, he was a Pulitzer Prize winner, the individual most credited with helping to win U.S. recognition for the Soviet regime, and the reporter who had predicted the success of the Bolshevik state when all others claimed it was doomed. But, as S.J. Taylor reveals in this provocative biography, Walter Duranty played a key role in perpetrating some of the greatest lies history has ever known… Thus during the great Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s, which Stalin engineered to crush millions of peasants who resisted his policies, Duranty dismissed other correspondents’ reports of mass starvation and, though secretly aware of the full scale of the horror, effectively reinforced the official cover-up of one of history’s greatest man-made disasters.” – states the introduction to the book by S.J. Taylor ‘Stalin’s Apolpgist‘. Below is S.J. Taylor’s summary of the man:
“The Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 remains the greatest man-made disaster ever recorded, exceeding in scale even the Jewish Holocaust of the next decade. It was Walter Duranty’s destiny to become, in effect, the symbol for the West’s failure to recognize and understand it at the time. When all is said and done, he alone, of all the witnesses to the terrible events, had sufficient prestige and prominence to exert an influence. Walter Duranty stood perhaps in a unique position in the history of journalism. There had been before him, and would be after, journalists who told their particular stories, took their chances, and let the chips fall where they might: men with a compelling regard for the truth. Had Duranty, a Pulitzer Prize-winner at the peak of his celebrity, spoken out loud and clear in the pages of the New York Times, the world could not have ignored him, as it did Muggeridge and Jones, and events might, just conceivably, have taken a different turn. If Duranty had taken a stand, he might now be accounted one of the century’s great, uncompromising reporters. But he did not.
When it came to discretion and expediency, the Western establishment that feted him, no less so than the Kremlin, had found their man.”
The story of Duranty should serve as a warning to people whom we can call as Putin’s apologists these days, Elon Musk in particular. Or Tucker Carlson. According to J.S. Taylor, by the end of his life Durante was desperate to justify his taking the wrong side in history, but that was too late.
There have been several attempts made to revoke the Pulitze Prize Durante received. If you agree, you can sign this PETITION.