Posts tagged William Bolitho

“I Write as I Please” 1935 book (Part II)

Walter Duranty was a good observer of the Russian people, I would term him a Russophile.  Maybe he sold his soul to be able to be a New York Times correspondent in Moscow at the time when so much was happening so quickly.  I have taken many notes off of the electronic pdf version of “I Write as I Please.”  What is interesting to me are the pages that were missed in the scanning process such as:  p. 48, 77, 230, 242, 333. There may have been others, I’m just saying that the person who scanned this whole 1935 edition didn’t want some things known about Duranty.  The following are my very rough notes from what I read relating to the Russian mentality from Duranty’s perspective:

p. 118 explanation of rushing the process of nationalism wanting to hasten the communist millennium

political anarchy replaced by order and strong central authority But: economic self-sufficiency had vanished

p. 125 – Russians are a romantic folk whose innate sense of drama is stronger than their regard for truth.

p. 126 Potemkin villages

p. 144 – They were Russians, you see, whose racial quality is to live intensely in the present and dismiss doubts or fears or horrid memories with the easy insouciance of children – Nichevo which means:  what of it or no matter

p. 146 – In 1921 – Red Army soldiers in uniform back from fighting Moslem rebels in Central Asia or from “liquidating” Makno’s anarchist movement in Ukraine

Ch. 14 – Red Star – Report the facts as I saw them but to avoid quoting statements of Soviet spokesmen or newspaper, “we do not want to risk the New York Times a vehicle for Bolshevik propaganda”

p. 166 Stalin 1933 said to Walter Duranty – “You have done a good job in your reporting of USSR although you are not a Marxist.”

Walter said of himself “…I’m a reporter, not a humanitarian, and if a reporter can’t see the wood for trees, he can’t describe the wood.”

p. 169 – Wm. Bolitho had taught me [WD] to think for myself or merely that the facts of the last 2 years spoke louder for the Bolsheviks than words create impression that I was tinged with pink myself.

The Wobblies or I.W.W. were not so long in the ideological theory stuff as the Russians

Russians “most would sooner talk than work, or even eat.”

“When you come to know more you will understand the superiority of Marxists in two respects of immediate practicality.  They know what they want and why the want it and are determined to sell it by fairness or foul.

Lenin speech in autumn 1921 – “Kto Kavo” “who beats whom?”

Sent it “mulnia” lightening – where news sent triple urgent

p. 194 Catherine the Great  said one good harvest in Russia atoned for ten years of bad politics

p. 196 W.D. gives Kulak definition

p. 197 “Do you really think America will ever go communist?” W.D. refused to be sidetracked by moral issues or by abstract questions

Chapter – A Prophet with Honor

p. 202 – spring of 1922 – chasm between West and Soviet thinking – Polish Catholic priests were given capital punishment

p. 203 – “Who were these foreigners anyway who dared to tell Russians how to conduct their own affairs?” He [the main priest] has abused Russian hospitality if it is a bigger crime and he is a foreigner

West thinks “anyone accused is innocent until proven guilty” but in Eastern countries and in Russia, “the accused is guilty otherwise he would not be at trial.”  Anglo-Saxon race fights savagely against pre-determined by a preliminary inquiry, otherwise it is injustice

After priest was killed one Russian who worked with foreigners said, “Life of one man had robbed the Soviet of the fruits of 2 years of patient diplomacy.”

Buchkevich execution did more to retard American recognition of USSR for 10 years

(to be continued)

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“I Write as I Please” 1935 book by Walter Duranty

Anyone who has followed me and my blog for any length of time starting in 2006 in Kyiv, Ukraine knows that I am NO FAN of Walter Duranty. As many of my readers might or might not know, he was a British man who wrote articles about Russia for the New York Times.  I downloaded off the Internet [must be public domain by now] the book Duranty had written that was published by Simon and Schuster in 1935 in New York titled “I Write as I Please.”  Dedicated to Duranty’s friend and mentor, Bill Ryall, who later was known as William Bolitho, it was an interesting read for me just looking at the chapter titles.

I need to look up and order the book written about Duranty titled “Stalin’s Apologist.” In one of the last chapters of his own book, where he wrote the way he wanted to, Duranty claimed he was not Stalin’s apologist. “I had no intention of being an apologist for the Stalin administration” [p. 278]  That may be true at the beginning of his journalist career in Moscow but after each progressive year he became more PINK!  The more recent book about Duranty should shed some more light as to what he was doing in the pocket of Joseph Stalin.  Thought the chapter titles were enlightening:

Ch. 1 – Baptism of Blood

Ch. 2 – News Not Fit to Print

Ch. 3 – Enter Litvinov

Ch. 4 – White Front!

Ch. 5 – Balts, Barons and Bolsheviks

Ch. 6 – “The Poor do Stink”

Ch. 7 – Exclusive

Ch. 8 – The Brave Man Dies But Once

Ch. 9 – From Bolitho to Lenin

Ch. 10 – “The Bad Years”

Ch. 11 – Volga Famine

Ch. 12 – From A.R.A. to N.E.P.

Ch. 13 – Love Among the Ruined

Ch. 14 – Red Star

Ch. 15 – Lenin and Stalin

Ch. 16 – The Founding Fathers

Ch. 17 – A Prophet with Honor

Ch. 18 – Lenin’s Funeral and Trotsky’s

Ch. 19 – A Cantor with Pegasus

Ch. 20 – I Write as I Please

Ch. 21 – Retreat from Moscow

Ch. 22 – War of the Titans

Ch. 23 – Collectives Spell Civilization

Ch. 24 – I Re-Write as I Please

Ch. 25 – Moscow Re-visited

Ch. 26 – Time Forward

More quotes from this book from the notes I took after I read through the downloaded version.  Who needs a Kindle? You may be wondering what this has to do with Kazakhstan. I’m glad you asked. I am trying to get to the bottom of this mystery of cover-up and what was REALLY happening in Russia, Ukraine AND Kazakhstan during these trying years of the 1920s and 1930s leading up to WWII.  Unfortunately, Duranty was a Russophile and there is not much he wrote about Ukraine or Kazakhstan.

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