Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl

Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl – Western reporters in Soviet Russia, 1917 to 1937, a case study of Louis Fischer and Walter Duranty – is a fascinating book. It was published in 1982 and there are a few inaccuracies, but not particularly significant. He compared two journalists who were working for American newspapers and were based in moscow at the same time, in the 1930s. The book was very different than other books on Duranty or on Holodomor because it had this unique approach, of analysing the writings of both these journalists in comparison. They were very different in their world views, but they were both unashamedly parroting soviet propaganda.

Angels in Stalin's Paradise by James William Crowl

I imagine this is a book more easily accessible in US than UK because it was published in US and it is an old book. While I imagine this would only appeal to researchers, it is an interesting book nonetheless. The writing is beautiful and it has enough quotes to create a good overview of what these two journalists were saying, but without disrupting the flow for the reader.

What I liked best was to see how different Fischer and Duranty were in their own political and moral views, but how similar their reporting was. That was fascinating. I am so happy I got the chance to read this book. I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5 just because of those small issues. The book was well researched, but he believed one of the lies Duranty said about his family without checking it, for example. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend the book.

Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: University Press of America
Year it was published: 1982
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History
Pages: 224

About the author: James William Crowl was a historian.
Website & Social Media Links: –



2 thoughts on “Angels in Stalin’s Paradise by James William Crowl”

  • It’s interesting that they had similar reporting despite differing views. I guess this is a good thing as long as the reporting is accurate.
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    • No, they both lied about Stalin and the soviets and they were, in part of course, responsible for the deaths of millions of people (famine, purges, deportations), and, of course, the start of WWII.

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