An Accidental Journalist: The Adventures of Edmund Stevens, by Cheryl Heckler

By Cheryl Heckler

Idealistic American Edmund Stevens arrived in Moscow in 1934 to do his half for the development of foreign Communism. His task writing propaganda ended in an unintended occupation 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 started his journalism occupation reporting at the Russo-Finnish struggle in 1939 and was once the Christian technology computer screen s first guy within the box to hide combating in global conflict II. He mentioned at the Italian invasion of Greece, participated in Churchill s Moscow assembly with Stalin as a employees translator, and unusual 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 personal Stevens, portraying a reporter adapting to new roles and situations with a ability that newshounds at the present time may perhaps good emulate.

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4 (Winter 1972–1973): 522. 39. , 523. 40. , 524. 005 intro (1-26) 9/18/07 5:58 PM Page 18 18 An Accidental Journalist for the real story. . 41 The journalist is elemental and integral to the news, not restrained on the outside. 42 While most practicing journalists adapt and articulate elements of both “neutral” participants, recording the who, what, when, and where of the story, and “participant” journalists, focusing on the why and how of the story, Stevens was well suited to be the latter. To understand Stevens’s place in journalism, one must also note the rise of interpretive reporting during this period— which Emery describes as “the most important development of the 1930s and 1940s” in the American press43 that happened, in large measure, because of the socioeconomic revolution of FDR’s New Deal combined with increasingly scientific technology and greater complexity of interdependence among economic groups.

After his return in 1938, he was first honored by being elected to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet and made associate member of the Academy of Sciences. ” It gave no further details. In the jargon of the purge, he was “repressed”—not shot, but sent to a Gulag penal colony. According to rumor, he was charged with spying for Lord Beaverbrook. The big Soviet encyclopedia states that Koltsov died in Kiev in April of 1942, without giving any details of how he died or why he was in Kiev, which was then under Nazi occupation.

Averell Harriman on their trip to the Kremlin because of his fluency in Russian and his familiarity with Moscow culture. He traded his role of journalist for that of junior diplomat assigned to address American military interests related to the meeting. Of all his roles during the war years, those of husband and father were probably his weakest. Without question, his roles as war reporter and Russian correspondent were his strongest. His later role as a “writer of memoirs,” however, was mixed. The four hundred pages he left behind reveal more potential than success in terms 005 intro (1-26) 24 9/18/07 5:58 PM Page 24 An Accidental Journalist of producing a fully developed and polished text.

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