Chapter One discussed the decline of Christian journalism. Chapter Two argued that journalism without an awareness of the spiritual realm makes for incomplete journalism. This chapter will suggest that the lack of spiritual awareness also makes for incomplete journalists. Journalism history's pantheon is filled with statues of great crusaders, but crusades based on false ideology invariably come up short.
Some journalists were honest enough and smart enough to see their failure, with enormous personal repercussions later in life. The most innovative journalists, though, often were the most arrogant, slow to recognize that their leaps forward were taking them in circles. Yet, it is these journalists who are held up to journalism students as the giants of the field. The sin and misery of many of these great lives cannot be scientifically measured, nor can it be proven that writers without God fall into a pattern. But to get an impression of the personal costs involved in seeing self as God, we might briefly chronicle the lives of eight of the greats during the 1840-1940 period. That is recent enough so that their influence is still felt, long enough ago so that gossip has receded.
First of the key journalists during our period (and famous for the phrase, "Go west, young man") was Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune from 1841 to 1872. He was a hands-on manager who demanded strong local reporting: "Do not let a new church be organized, a mill set in motion, a store opened, nor anything of interest to a dozen families occur, without having the fact daily, though briefly, chronicled in your columns." He was a beloved of reporters, as "He steered the Tribune with relaxed, easy reins, and enjoyed giving his men their head." With a background as a printer, he had an excellent sense of typography.
But Greeley's theology was Unitarian. He thought that man was naturally good and could "enoble" himself. Greeley did not understand original sin, so he thought that man's corruption came from outside, from corrupt institutions. Believing that all would be well if only major institutions were transformed, he began crusading for societal change.
First, Greeley saw private property as the corrupting force, for economic competition made man evil. So Greeley backed, with profits gained from the Tribune's competitive success, the founding of some forty communes during the 1840s. All of them failed. Then he moved on to other causes: Agrarianism, anti-rentism, "free love," always something new, always something that supposedly would lead to a man-made utopia just around the corner.
When each idea failed, Greeley often would blame those he had previously backed for their inability to implement the impossible. He eventually inspired a poem by William Grayson in 1856: "There Greeley, grieving at a brother's woe,/ Spits with impartial spite on friend and foe . . ./To each fanatical delusion prone,/He damns all creeds and parties but his own;/And faction's fiercest rabble always find/A kindred nature in the Tribune's mind;/ Ready each furious impulse to obey,/He raves and ravens like a beast of prey."
None of the causes panned out, but Greeley kept trying something new. So did his wife Mary Greeley. At one time she was violently opposed to the killing of animals for any reason. She met writer Margaret Fuller on the street one day, touched Fuller's kid gloves and began to scream, "Skin of a beast, skin of a beast." Mary was wearing silk, and Margaret Fuller had the presence of mind to begin yelling, "Entrails of a worm, entrails of a worm."
Horace and Mary Greeley believed that children were without sin; the prime parental goal was to keep them from corruption. Their son Arthur (Pickie), born in 1844, spent most of his first five summers in various communes. At age five his hair had never been cut, lest that constrict his freedom, and he still wore baby clothes, to give him freedom of movement. He was to be a beautiful combination of intellect and nature, equipped with "choice" thoughts and language. But one day Pickie, age five; stood up before a commune meeting and started complaining that his mother was "so particular, particular, particular, particular." When she reminded him that he had been saved from corruption, he began shrieking at her, "Don't you dare shut me up in a room.... I want fun." The Greeleys did not change Pickie's regime, but he died shortly after during a cholera epidemic.
Greeley's causes were no more successful than his utopian ideas of child-raising. When he tired of marriage and proposed "social enjoyment" and "individual sovereignty," he was attacked for proposing "only a brothel on a new plan." When he ran for President in 1872, he was politically crushed. Following the election, he reflected on his life and saw it as a waste, a sacrifice to foolish crusades. In one of his last statements before death took him on November 29, 1872, Greeley wrote, "I stand naked before my God, the most utterly, hopelessly wretched and undone of all who ever lived. I have done more harm and wrong than any man who ever saw the light of day. And yet I take God to witness that I have never intended to injure or harm anyone. But this is no excuse."
Greeley was the father of modern journalistic crusading. Wilbur Storey of the Detroit Free Press and the Chicago Times could be called, similarly, the father of modern journalistic sensationalism. Storey, an innovative editor from 1855 through 1884, anticipated the racy details of New York "yellow journalism" by running headlines such as "How to Get Rid of a Faithless Wife," "Suicide by Swallowing a Red-Hot Poker," "Fountain of Blood in a Cavern," and "Saved by His Wife's Corpse."
Storey became particularly known for decked headlines such as this one from 1871: "Spouse Roasting/The Massachusetts Husband Who Cooked His Wife in Kerosene/A Sample of New England Conjugal Bliss." Storey believed strongly in material causes for all tragedies, with individuals often left helpless, as related in this headline: "The Arsenic Fiend. Full Confession of Lydia Sherman, the Connecticut Arch-Murderess/The Remorseless Murder of Three Husbands and Five Children/A Story of Arsenic, Arsenic, Arsenic/A Constant, Itching Temptation Which She Was Powerless to Resist." His political reporting of the Chicago city council also was grabbing: "Bastard 'City Fathers'/Chicago's Prize Rummers Hold Their Weekly Carnival at the City Hall/And, As Usual, Disgrace the City Over Which They Should Exercise All Care."
Storey became the dictator of Chicago. In the words of his closest Times associate, Franc B. Wilkie, "Wilbur Storey was a Bacchus, a Satyr, a Minotaur, all in one.... Possessed of no consideration for the feelings of others, he fancied himself infallible." Storey attacked with impunity anyone who crossed his path and did not bow; sued often for libel, he always managed to avoid heavy penalties. He made up stories which ruined reputations and said he did not care.
Storey tended to hire editors and writers in his own image. Probably his most famous reporter, "Shang" Andrews, was a drug addict. Storey's city editor once called his staff "a great force.... Two of my men are ex-convicts, ten are divorced husbands, and not a single one of them is living with his own wife." Times reporters were almost invariably anti-church, producing bitter attacks on "The Preachers of the Period" and "The Peculiarities of Shepherds and Flocks."
Storey's life, though, became evidence for the often-repeated maxim that those who do not believe in Christianity eventually find themselves ready to believe not nothing, but anything. The materialist Storey in his fifties became interested in the spiritual, but in his own way: He installed a permanent "spirit-rapping" medium in his home and turned the Times into the editorial organ of "Spirit Intercourse." In one article Storey renounced "forever" Christian communion and said he would pay attention to the "mystic and invisible communications" that came to him alone. Through frequent seances he searched for a spiritual realm he could control as he controlled Chicago.
Then doctors found that Storey had contracted syphilis which had advanced to such a stage that his intellect was threatened. Storey moaned to his sister, "Why have I worked so hard, and accumulated money, and planned, and given all my years to building up a great business, when I know that at any moment I may become a helpless mass?" On doctor's advice he took a long tour of Europe in 1878, but seemed to notice nothing. His associate Wilkie wrote that Storey "seemed keenly and unfavorably impressed in a persistent environment of gloom."
Storey lived for six more years, sinking deeper and deeper into what became a permanent depression, raging on in his newspaper's columns. His third wife hounded him, demanding changes in their prenuptial agreement that precluded her from receiving most of his estate. Nor did anyone else apparently have any fondness for Storey With the reputation of a rattlesnake, he was seen as being not only critical-that his former friends could stand-but cruel. Storey died hated and alone in 1884 at age sixty-four.
Greeley's crusading and Storey's sensationalism both included anti-Christian components. A third nineteenth-century editor, E. W. Howe, was the first to see his role as that of community educator in atheism. While writing an influential novel, then editing a Kansas daily and a national weekly from the 1870s into the 1930s, Howe "envisioned himself as a man whose mission was to pull the people of Atchison, and readers everywhere, out of the muck of ignorance."
Calling himself a "lay preacher," Howe told newspaper readers that Christianity was "baseless from top to bottom," with "no foundation in history or probability." Howe said the story of Christ's birth and ascent were taken directly from Buddhism and that the Ten Commandments were stolen from the Egyptians. He also wrote that all intelligent folk knew the Biblical stories of creation, original sin, flood, and resurrection were lies, along with all miracles, all prophecies, and all commandments. He told any readers with doubts that they could check those "facts" in the American Cyclopedia, a truer book than the Bible.
Howe had a credo which he put into effect in his own professional and personal life: Selfishness, not Christian belief, is the savior of mankind. He put it into practice in his own family, where an increasingly bitter marriage eventually resulted in a 1901 divorce. Two of Howe's five children died young, and the other three became estranged from their father. But Howe received honorary degrees and much praise, particularly for his "fearless" attacks on Christianity. Yet, when he died in 1937 at age eighty-four, his burial service was conducted in a church, as he had requested.
Following Howe's death his son Gene would write in the Saturday Evening Post a remembrance of his father entitled, "My Father Was the Most Wretchedly Unhappy Man I Ever Knew." Gene wrote that his father had been "a master of English, a pioneer in literary style, and he had a great wealth of fire and force and enthusiasm." But the son wrote sadly, "I know of no one endowed as he was who accomplished so little."
Greeley crusaded for utopian schemes, Storey sensationalized for circulation and power, Howe proselytized for atheism out of his presuppositions. Joseph Pulitzer became the most famous editor publisher in the United States during the last quarter of the nineteenth century by combining the three in both St. Louis (from the 1860s to the 1880s) and New York (from then to his death in 1911).
Pulitzer was undoubtedly a genius, with a penetrating intellect, wonderful memory, and superb journalistic instincts. His early years as reporter and editor were happy. But Pulitzer was always looking for love and salvation in all the wrong places. That fruitless search for permanent satisfaction apart from God turned Pulitzer's brilliant promise into one of the great tragedies of American journalism history. Pulitzer's desire to be a god unto himself turned him by 1885 into a man who "exudes the venom of a snake and wields the bludgeon of a bully."
That was the verdict of a competitor. Even Pulitzer's friend and top editor, though, said that Pulitzer was the "best man in the world to have in a newspaper office for one hour in the morning. For the remainder of the day he was a damned nuisance." Wanting to be omnipresent, Pulitzer instructed his editors and reporters to spy on each other and send reports directly to him. He purposefully created overlapping authority so that he would have to be called in to break deadlocks. Pulitzer's system, according to one journalist, "produced in time a condition of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, a maelstrom of office politics that drove at least two editors to drink, one into suicide, a fourth into insanity."
Everyone told Pulitzer to stop worrying, but he could not. One reporter wrote that "When anything went wrong, and things seemed to go wrong with him very often, there would come from his office . . . a stream of profanity and filth." Pulitzer's fellow newspaper editor Henry Watterson noted that "Absolute authority made Pulitzer a tyrant."
Things became worse when Pulitzer gradually became blind during the 1890s. He called himself "the loneliest man in the world." Even his laudatory biographer, however, noted that "the loneliness, although real, was instead the terrible isolation of the helpless megalomaniac and egocentric, the perfectionist who loved to criticize." Pulitzer was separated from his wife and children for most of his last twenty years because he wanted around him only "compliant attendants." His wife often wanted to join him, writing that "You would be much happier my dear Joseph if you would only believe in the friendly intentions & good feeling of the people about you." But Pulitzer raged at her, then complained that he had to eat dinner with "nobody at my table except paid employees."
Pulitzer could never feel loved. He employed hundreds of assistants over the years, always searching for a friend and confidant. Many admired him at first, but later or usually sooner he would turn on them, then write letters such as the following: "How much I would give if I could only deceive myself with the thought that my anxiety to attach you to me as my long lost and longed for friend is not entirely unappreciated." Pulitzer would swear at an assistant, swing a whip at him, and then plead with the assistant to "tell him why he [Pulitzer] was treated so cruelly."
It seems likely that Pulitzer truly wanted God's love but was too proud to acknowledge anyone above him. When Charles Evan Hughes, later to be the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, visited Pulitzer in 1903, he reported that "One would have supposed that Mr. Pulitzer was sitting as the judge of all the earth." For a time Pulitzer sent an atheistic employee to church every week to place a new $5 bill on the offering plate and then leave. Another of Pulitzer's assistants explained, "Mr. Pulitzer has then attended church."
Pulitzer spent his last years sailing constantly in a yacht with seventy-five employees trained to cater to his whims. As one biographer put it, "The yacht represented the logical end toward which the eccentric despot, so concerned with democracy, had been working for decades. It gave him complete control. It was an absolute monarchy." But Pulitzer still had no peace of mind, and ended his life agitated by what he called his "constant and manifold failures." Having forsaken God, he was left merely to complain that he had been "forsaken and deserted and shamefully treated by fate." Now, on the days Pulitzer Prizes are handed out, Pulitzer is remembered, and perhaps even loved by the winners.
The early professional life of E. W. Scripps-the man who developed a central institution of twentieth-century American journalism, the newspaper chain-also was filled with journalistic joy. Born in 1854, he became city editor of the Detroit Evening News at age twenty-one and established America's first effective chain during the 1880s and 1890s. Scripps also extended the Greeley-Pulitzer concept of newspapers as voices of the theological and political left. He called his editorials the "teaching department, the statesmanship department and the spiritual department," said he was not out to make a profit, and made enormous profits before dying aboard his yacht in 1926.
Scripps acknowledged that the Christian ethic in which he had been raised gave him the discipline he needed to be successful: "I believe that . . . in 999 out of every 1,000 of my activities, physical and mental, I am prompted to action or thought, or restrained from action or thought, by what might be called Christian tradition." But Scripps made the typical fallacious distinction between "Christ's Christianity of love" and what the Bible actually said about God's justice and mercy. Scripps never wanted to study Biblical verses in context, because that would be putting God above his own understanding; eventually Scripps wrote straightforwardly, "I do not believe in God, or any being equal to or similar to the Christian's God."
Politically, Scripps became a prominent advocate of socialism; economically, he was a successful capitalist; yet, Scripps was one more person who, looking back late in life, rued his actions. Scripps in 1914 saw "no hope" in socialism. He could see that "socialism is based really upon a spirit of conservatism, of nonproductiveness. The effect of socialism would be that society would not only be satisfied with the knowledge it at present possesses, but that there would be no increase by discovery of new fields of human activity."
Scripps complained further that "The socialist would take possession of the world-material and social-as it exists today, and divide it up into shares, and thereafter have society continue to exist upon the product hitherto accumulated, taking no further step forward into the undiscovered and virgin fields of opportunity." Yet Scripps continued propagandizing for socialism, "despite my will and my reason," because he was "human and normal, and hence weak."
Later he wondered if he had been right in "devoting my energies to denouncing wealth and inspiring the masses to jealousy and revolution." But Scripps also stayed consistent, writing in 1921 an essay, "Wanted-a Tryant," in which he argued that "as Lenin has striven and is still striving to seize and hold power of dictator in Russia, so may we have to depend on some coming strong man." (Edmund Burke's comment on the French revolutionaries comes to mind here: "In the groves of their academies, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.") Scripps left to posterity the news service that became United Press International and a maxim for never-ending revolution: "Whatever is, is wrong."
William Randolph Hearst was the most powerful journalist of the early twentieth century. Born in 1863 and given the San Francisco Examiner by his father in 1887, Hearst moved to New York in 1895 and built a newspaper chain far greater than that of Scripps. By 1935 Hearst controlled 14 percent of daily newspaper circulation nationwide and 24 percent of Sunday circulation. What struck early observers of Hearst and his newspapers, though, was passion as well as money. Early on, Hearst so loved his newspapers that he would examine pages by standing over them and dancing out of sheer pleasure as he turned the pages with his toes.
Hearst, when young, also enjoyed leading his reporters to breaking new stories. The reporters would race to the scene on bicycles or cavalry horses, while Hearst could be seen "leaping wild-eyed and long-legged into a carriage, to be whisked like a field marshall to the scene of battle." Hearst and his editors put out the most exciting newspaper of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but they rarely moved beyond Wheel of Fortune journalism. Hearst's slogan became, "There Is No Substitute for Circulation," and his practice a mixture of demagogic politics and sensationalism: "Make a great and continuous noise to attract readers; denounce crooked wealth and promise better conditions for the poor to keep readers. INCREASE CIRCULATION."
Hearst made an idol out of circulation, but he also tried making one out of himself. He began instructing his reporters and editors to praise him at every possibility. He began to pose as a benefactor of the poor, sending pale children on jaunts to the beach. A reporter sent to cover one expedition, though, later wrote that she was given only one container of ice cream to be dealt out on a Coney Island trip: "When at last I placed a dab on each saucer, a little fellow in ragged knickerbockers got up and declared that the Journal was a fake and I thought there was going to be a riot. l took away the ice-cream from a deaf and dumb kid who couldn't holler and gave it to the malcontent. Then I had to write my story beginning: 'Thousands of children, pale-faced but happy, danced merrily down Coney Island's beaches yesterday and were soon sporting in the sun-lit waves shouting, "God bless Mr. Hearst." ' "
Hearst made sure that his good deeds were surrounded by trumpets for him personally and publicity for his newspaper. His instructions sometimes led to bizarre coverage. When all Hearst writers were ordered to mention "comic supplements" in their stories whenever possible, one reporter noted concerning a disaster scene,"I was the first to reach the injured and dying. 'God bless Mr. Hearst,' a little child cried as I stooped to lave her brow. Then she smiled and died. I spread one of our comic supplements over the pale, still face."
The goal of such efforts was not only to sell newspapers but to get Hearst elected President. When he could not get the Democratic nomination in 1904, he called Judge Alton Parker, the party's nominee, a "living, breathing cockroach from under the sink," and labeled the party's chairman "a plague spot in the community spreading vileness." Hearst began using his New York Journal as a club against anyone who did not bow down to him. At one time the newspaper had two thousand names on its S-list (persons to be mentioned only with scorn).
At first Hearst used his growing newspaper chain as a whip to promote his own political and ideological interests, which included the bringing about of a big government-big business partnership; Hearst wrote, in a signed editorial, "Combination and organization are necessary steps in industrial progress. We are advancing toward a complete organization in which the government will stand at the head and be the trust of trusts. It is ridiculous to attempt to stop this development." But, frustrated when he actually saw his vision pushed along during the New Deal, Hearst turned on the man he had endorsed, Franklin Roosevelt, and gave up his dreams of government.
Hearst spent his last decades estranged from wife and familS He lived with actress Marion Davies, who ate dinner with a special servant standing behind her throughout the meal to hold powder, rouge, and lipstick, and another servant to bring Miss Davies' dog "Gandhi" sliced ham or turkey on a silver platter. Hearst's house guests abided by a strict rule: "Never mention death in Mr. Hearst's presence." Orson Welles' movie Citizen Kane is too loosely founded on Hearst's life to satisfy an historian, but it nevertheless gives a good sense of the isolation of Hearst's later years as he removed himself from both man and God.
A seventh journalistic innovator, Lincoln Steffens, was the modern inventor of "muckraking." He exposed the corruption of a dozen municipal governments early in this century and recognized that the problem was not so much particular individuals as a gencral disposition to sin. Steffens read the Bible and almost seemed ready to bow his head. But he went to church for several years and decided he was superior to those around him. He was intellectually (but not spiritually).
Steffens also was aware of the supercilious stares from friends that a Christian conversion would bring. He turned back toward materialism. The political form that materialism took could no longer be liberalism, since he had realized its limitations. He became, instead, a Marxist (of the kind who could be described as "talking revolution and blood-and sucking the guts out of a chocolate eclair impaled on an upright fork"). Steffens became an Eologist for the Soviet Union, praising Stalin and others for carrying through "ruthlessly" a plan to change human nature.
The hard-line Communists thought Steffens soft, a playful child of the despised bourgeoisie "wandering among the social battlefields." But Steffens proved himself by turning on a fellow Marxist and former friend, Max Eastman, who had been courageous enough to report accurately on suppression in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and early 1930s. Steffens won Party praise by joining in what Sidney Hook called "a campaign of brutal repressions, slander and character assassination."
Steffens had come a long way. Previously an apostle of man's reason as the glory of existence, he was saying in 1932 that "there comes a time to close our open minds, shut up our talking, and go to it." Steffens praised Stalin's purges when they began in 1934, writing that Stalin had "put sixty or more men to death" because he had wisely realized "that the job was not yet done, that security was not yet secured." Steffens apparently realized his lies and contemplated suicide, but he stayed on the path he had chosen, writing in 1936 that "Poetry, romance-all roads in our day lead to Moscow."
Steffens thought again of God and sin as he sickened, but he continued to maintain that "treason to Communism" would be a "sin," for "Russia is the land of conscious, willful hope." Eastman called Steffens "a pillar of the Stalinist church in America," and Steffens apparently died that way in August 1936. But he must have had some realization of the stakes, for on the last page of his autobiography he also noted, "I have been contending, with all my kind, always against God."
Last of the great journalistic innovators during the 1840-1940 period was the first of the very influential foreign correspondents, Walter Duranty. Covering the Soviet Union for the New York Times during the 1920s and 1930s, Duranty was the father of all those who covered the rise to power of Mao in the 1940s, Castro in the 1950s, and the Sandinistas in the 1970s. Similarly, those who apologized for the Communist regime during Ethiopia's state-caused famine during the 1980s merely were following in Duranty's footsteps.
Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his work's "scholarship, profundity, impartiality and exceptional clarity, and an example of the best type of foreign correspondence." Historial hindsight is not so kind, nor were the few among Duranty's journalist colleagues who were not tied to the left. Duranty's clarity was actually false analogy, as when he acknowledged that the Russian people were anti-revolutionary only because they "are in the position of children at school, who personally might sooner be out at play and do not yet realize that they are being taught for their ulitmate good."
Duranty equated Stalin's opponents with the Ku Klux Klan and wrote that "the peasants by and large at last have begun to realize the advantages offered by the new system, just as a plebe at West Point comes later to admire what at first he found so rigorous." Plebes, of course, are not killed, but neither were resisters to Stalin, according to Duranty. Rather, they could redeem themselves by working in Gulag lumber camps, those "communes" where "the � labor demand exceeds the supply" and prisoners have the satisfaction of working "for the good of the community."
Duranty ascended in apologia once the Depression began and more Americans began praising Soviet "full employment." In 1930, discussing Stalin's Five Year Plan, Duranty wrote that there may be problems, but "what does count is that Russia is being speeded up and fermented-and disciplined-into jumping and making an effort." Stalin once again was portrayed as a harsh but kindly teacher, trying to "stir the people up, force new ideas into their heads and make them talk and think and learn despite themselves." Duranty equated the Five Year Plan with the Biblical exodus from Egyptian slavery: "Moses and Aaron can become Lenin and Trotsky, Joshua becomes Stalin."
In 1932 and 1933, though, the Soviet countryside neared collapse in famine. About five million persons probably died in the manner later described by Victor Kravchenko: "Everywhere we found men and women lying prone, their faces and bellies bloated, their eyes utterly expressionless." In Fedor Belov's words, "The people were like beasts, ready to devour one another. And no matter what they did, they went on dying, dying, dying." Alexander Solzhenitsyn later wrote that "long lines of [peasants] dying of famine trudged toward the railroad stations in the hope of getting to the cities . . . but were refused tickets and were unable to leave-and lay dying beneath the station fences in a submissive heap of homespun coats and bark shoes."
Horace Greeley had praised American collectives in the 1840s, but had not covered up small flaws; after a century of progress in journalism, Walter Duranty would praise Soviet collectivization in the 1930s and cover up such murder. Stalin needed Duranty's help, because Stalin was shipping grain to the West in order to get cash to buy machinery for the steel industry; coverage of the famine might have led to protests that could have stopped the big deals. Duranty did help. He not only wrote that "There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation," but he wrote that those reporters who were trying to tell the truth were concocting a "big scare story." Such was the prestige of Duranty, and the ideological mood of the times, that the honest reporters often had trouble with their editors.
Duranty knew what he was doing. Malcolm Muggeridge, then also a Moscow reporter, remembered Duranty acknowledging in conversation the famine but saying "you can't make omelettes without cracking eggs." Some say that Duranty was bribed or compromised by the Soviets, but it was just as likely that he had made an idol of the Soviet Revolution generally and Stalin specifically; Duranty's favorite expression was, "I put my money on Stalin."
At the end of Duranty's tour of duty in Moscow, he wrote that it had really been a tour of love: "Looking backward over the fourteen years I have spent in Russia, I cannot escape the conclusion that this period has been a heroic chapter in the life of Humanity." Duranty's Pulitzer Prize led to other honors, a well-fed retirement in Southern California during which he continued to worship capital H "Humanity" rather than capital G "God," and a well-attended funeral in the mid-1940s.
Four decades later, books such as James Crowl's Angels in Stalin's Paradise and a documentary shown on the PBS show "Firing Line" made Duranty famous once again: This time as an accomplice to mass murder.
Proverbs notes that "He who digs a pit falls into it." That often happens, but not always. Justice sometimes requires more than one lifespan to complete, and poetic justice in this life is sometimes found in poems but not outside.
Nothing can be proved by eight brief biographical sketches or eighty more, but certain lines of sight are suggested. Individuals often held up as among the most prescient of journalists suffered a limitation of vision. They did not become better journalists for stressing only the material, not did they hit upon real solutions. They went on one mistaken, idolatrous crusade after another. They lived and died by ideological myths.
|PART ONE QUOTE
|All the devils in hell and tempters on earth could do us no injury if there were no corruption in our own natures.|