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

By Cheryl Heckler

   while an idealistic American named Edmund Stevens arrived in Moscow in 1934, his simply target was once to do his half for the development of foreign Communism. His activity writing propaganda resulted in a reporting profession and an eventual Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for his uncensored descriptions of Stalin’s purges. This booklet tells how Stevens grew to become an unintended journalist—and the dean of the Moscow press corps.

            The longest-serving American-born correspondent operating from in the Soviet Union, Stevens was once enthusiastic about influencing the way in which his stateside readers thought of Russia’s voters, govt, and social coverage. Cheryl Heckler now strains a profession that spanned part a century and 4 continents, concentrating on Stevens’s specialist paintings and existence from 1934 to 1945 to inform how he set the factors for reporting on Soviet affairs for the Christian technological know-how Monitor.

            Stevens was once a willing observer and considerate commentator, and his analytical brain was once simply what the Monitor was once trying to find in a international correspondent. He all started his journalism profession reporting at the Russo-Finnish conflict in 1939 and was once the Monitor’s first guy within the box to hide combating in global struggle II. He said at the Italian invasion of Greece, participated in Churchill’s Moscow assembly with Stalin as a employees translator, and distinct himself as a correspondent with the British military in North Africa.

Drawing on Stevens’s memoirs—to which she had unique access—as good as his articles and correspondence and the unpublished memoirs of his spouse, Nina, Heckler strains his development as a frontline correspondent and interpreter of Russian tradition. She paints an image of a guy hardened by means of event, who witnessed the brutal crushing of the Iron safeguard in 1941 Bucharest and the Kharkov hangings but who was once a failure on his own residence entrance and who left his spouse in the course of a tricky being pregnant that allows you to go back to the battle sector. Heckler locations his memoirs and dispatches in the higher context of occasions to shed new mild on either the general public and the non-public Stevens, portraying a reporter adapting to new roles and situations with a ability that newshounds at the present time may well good emulate.

By exposing the various aspects of Stevens’s lifestyles and adventure, Heckler supplies readers a transparent figuring out of ways this unintended journalist used to be destined to differentiate himself as a conflict reporter, analyst, and cultural interpreter. An unintended Journalist is a vital contribution to the historical past of conflict reporting and foreign journalism, introducing readers to a guy whose inside of wisdom of Stalinist Russia was once past examine because it offers new perception into the Soviet era.

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Additional info for An Accidental Journalist: The Adventures of Edmund Stevens, 1934-1945

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At first I felt a bit lost. My Russian was hardly up to my needs. I had no rubles but managed with cigarettes to get a porter to unload my suitcase and sailor trunk and check them into the locker room of the cavernous Byelorussian station. In my naïve innocence, I looked around for a money exchange booth like the ones in all the major stations. I found a window with the sign “Sberkassa” and stepped inside. But when I had elbowed my way to the guichet with my money, the female cashier was taken aback.

Most of the younger generation had matured during the so-called New Economic Plan (NEP) introduced by Lenin after the civil war, which allowed the provisional revival of private enterprise, in order to restore the shattered economy. Throughout this transitional period, political power was entirely retained by the firm Communist hold on the commanding heights. Within these confines, after the austerity of the 010 p1c1 (27-44) 9/18/07 5:59 PM The Early Years in Moscow Page 33 33 “wartime Communism,” daily life largely reverted to bourgeois ways.

In other words, as daily life and social institutions became more complex, newsrooms placed greater value on the “why” of an unfolding event, and reporters became more specialized in their abilities to explain medicine, science, or economic and political developments. But the history, nature, and agenda of the Christian Science Monitor reveal a newspaper strongly defined by writers with the ability to analyze an unfolding event, and Edmund Stevens succeeded in meeting those standards under the often impossible circumstances of the front lines.

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