Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The War for Ukraine’s History | New Eastern Outlook

Walter Duranty, the Pulitzer-winning New York Times correspondent, is long dead. However, Duranty has not been forgotten, because there is an ongoing battle over his 20th century work — in a 21st century ideological war.

Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his reporting in the Soviet Union, and the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist right wing has not forgotten this. They continue to make efforts to have his prize posthumously revoked.

The John Birch Society, white supremacist David Duke, and prominent figures in the Republican Party have all rallied around the call for Duranty’s prize to be revoked. They call Duranty a “communist propagandist” and “Stalin apologist.”

Yet, when one looks over Duranty’s writings, they just don’t sound like communist propaganda. Duranty calls Stalin an “imperial dictator” and a “czar,” comparing him to Ivan the Terrible. He describes Soviet society as “supreme autocracy of the imperial idea.”

Duranty’s writings reek of anti-communism and contempt for Marxism-Leninism. One of Duranty’s articles for which he won a Pulitzer proclaims: “Russia has transformed Marxism—which was only a theory anyway—to suit its racial needs and characteristics, which are strange and peculiar, and fundamentally more Asiatic than European.”

The Pulitzer Committee has refused to revoke Duranty’s 1932 award, because no evidence has yet been provided that Duranty lied about anything. In his reporting, amid his racist and anti-Soviet editorializing, he accurately described what he observed in Moscow and other parts of the Soviet Union.

Complete story at - The War for Ukraine’s History | New Eastern Outlook

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