I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty is a memoir of a British-American journalist who worked from moscow for over a decade, in the interwar period. Because it was firstly published in 1935 I included it in the history section of the blog – Non-European – russian. I also gave it 3 stars, an average between 1 for content and 5 for historical importance as a primary source.

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty

This is the second book I read by him, first one being Europe; war or peace?. As he worked as a journalist, the book reads fast and it is entertaining despite the topics being on the dry side, e.g. a lot of politics. But, as it is a book hard to get unless you want to spend money on it, which is a good idea only for researchers, I don’t think there is a huge demand to read it.

He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his reporting on the soviet union. He was also the one who lied and covered up the Holodomor. I suggest reading my review on his biography – Stalin’s Apologist by S. J. Taylor – if you want to know more.

A few reviews of other of his books will follow as I am researching him, and reading his work is a big part of it, of course.

I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 3/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes, for researchers
Published by: Hamish Hamilton
Year it was published: 1935
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): Memoir
Pages: 347

About the author: Walter Duranty was a British-American journalist, born in Liverpool in 1884. He died in 1957 in US. He worked as moscow bureau chief of The New York Times for fourteen years from 1921. In 1932, Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports about the Soviet Union, eleven of which were published in June 1931 and 2 at the end of the year. He published a few books, both fiction and non-fiction.
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2 thoughts on “I Write as I Please by Walter Duranty”

  • Was his Pulitzer for reporting? (I’m not sure what all the categories are) If he was lying and covering up things, it doesn’t sound like an award that was deserved.
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    • Yes. He won a Pulitzer in 1932 for a series of articles from 1931 on the First 5-Year Plan. I wrote a paper for university on this and he was contradicting himself even in those articles.

      In 1932-1933 the Holodomor happened, a man-made famine in Ukraine which killed 4 million (maybe more). Some reporters wrote the truth, but he denied that any famine existed. In private he said that up to 10 million died, but he kept lying about it.
      There were a couple of inquiries on the prize in the early 2000s, but Pulitzer decided to keep it as it is. Now there are new talks about it.

      Pulitzer had various categories from when it was awarded first. Duranty won for Correspondence.

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