Eugene Lyons - Assignment in Utopia


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Eugene Lyons - Assignment in Utopia


Eugene Lyons (July 1, 1898 – January 7, 1985) was an American journalist and writer. A fellow traveler of Communism in his younger years, Lyons became highly critical of the Soviet Union after several years there as a correspondent of United Press International. Lyons also wrote a biography of President Herbert Hoover.

This is a story of belief, disillusionment and atonement. Long identified with leftist causes, the journalist Eugene Lyons was by background and sentiment predisposed to early support of the Russian Revolution. A "friendly correspondent," he was one of a coterie of foreign journalists permitted into the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era because their desire to serve the revolution was thought to outweigh their desire to serve the truth. Lyons first went to the Soviet Union in 1927, and spent six years there. He was there as Stalin consolidated his power, through collectivization and its consequences, as the cultural and technical intelligentsia succumbed to the secret police, and as the mechanisms of terror were honed.


BOOK 1. Prelude to Moscow
I. Revolt Against Ugliness
II. The Clowning Called Justice
III. On the Eve of Fascism
IV. I Defend Sacco and Vanzetti
V. Working for the Soviets

BOOK 2. Hallelujah !
I. Moscow and Muscovites
II. The Kremlin’s Guests and Poor Relations
III. Nep : Burlesque on Capitalism
IV. Hallelujah !
V. Censorship
VI. Demonstration Trial
VII. Journey Through Russia
VIII. Iron Monolith
IX. Savor of Life
X. Life is Rationed
XI. Social Slag
XII. The Great “Break”
XIII. Accent of Moscow
XIV. Picnicking in a Graveyard
XV. TWO Plus TWO Equals Five
XVI. The War Nobody Knew

BOOK 3. Doubt !
I. Stalin Launches a Slogan
II. The Peasants Are Conquered
III. We Move to a Mansion
Iv. Locomotives Come to Central Asia
V. Search for the “Real Russia”
VI. Bargains in Ideals and Omelettes
VII. Revolt Against Intelligence
VIII. Forty-eight Ghosts
IX. Rasstrel !
X. “Death to Wreckers!”
XI. An Interview With Stalin
XII. American Interlude

BOOK 4. Disillusionment
I. “Socialism” Revised
11. Bernard Shaw in Moscow
III. Ambulance and Motor-Cars
IV. Gold Mining in Torture Chambers
V. Culture in a Straitjacket
VI. Fog of Skepticism over Russia
VII. Planned Chaos
VIII. The End of RAPP
IX. Living Space
X. American Tragedies
XI. Persian Entr’acte
XII. Upon Sodom and Gomorrah Brimstone and Fire
XIII. Did the First Five Year Plan Succeed ?
XIV. Britishers on Trial
XV. The Press Corps Conceals a Famine
XVI. Forebodings

BOOK 5. Rededication
I. My Recall from Moscow
II. Farewell to Russia !
III. A Tour of Tyrannies
IV. To Tell or Not to Tell
V. Adventure in Idealism


For more :
Communism - PDF
Russia - PDF
Bolchevik - PDF

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