ASSIGNMENT IN UTOPIA EUGENE LYONS PDF

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 This is a story of belief, disillusionment and atonement. 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 , and spent six years there.

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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 This is a story of belief, disillusionment and atonement. 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 , 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. Assignment in Utopia describes why he refused to see the obvious, the forces that kept him from writing the truth, and the tortuous path he traveled in liberating himself.

His story helps us understand how so many who were in a position to know were so silent for so long. In addition, it is a document, by an on-the-scene journalist, of major events in the critical period of the first Five-Year Plan. As Ellen Frankel Paul notes in her major new introduction to this new edition, Assignment in Utopia is particularly timely.

The system it dissects in such devastating detail is in the process of being rejected throughout Eastern Europe and is under challenge in the Soviet Union itself. The book lends insight into the "political pilgrim" phenomenon described by Paul Hollander, in which visitors celebrate terrorist regimes, seemingly oblivious to their destructive force.

The book is valuable for those interested in the Stalinist era in the Soviet Union, those interested in radical regimes and political change, as well as those interested in better understanding current events in Europe. It will also be useful for the tough questions it poses about journalistic ethics.

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ASSIGNMENT IN UTOPIA EUGENE LYONS PDF

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 , 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. Assignment in "Utopia "describes why he refused to see the obvious, the forces that kept him from writing the truth, and the tortuous path he traveled in liberating himself. His story helps us understand how so many who were in a position to know were so silent for so long.

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Eugene Lyons

Background[ edit ] Eugene Lyons was born July 1, , to a Jewish family in the town of Uzlyany , now part of Belarus but then part of the Russian empire. His parents were Nathan Lyons and Minnie Privin. His parents emigrated to the U. Career[ edit ] During his school years he worked as an assistant to an English teacher in an adult education course. With the end of the war in November , Lyons was demobilized and honorably discharged. Matson, and the pair decided to spend the next six months sharing expenses in pursuit of their common goal. The Soviets thought that as an American, he could cross frontiers safely.

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Our streets teemed with crowded, chaotic life like the underside of a moss-grown stone. Our tenements were odoriferous garbage heaps where the same over-abundant life proliferated. We knew coarseness, vermin, want, so intimately that they became routine commonplaces. The affluence, the ease, the glimpse of ordered beauty were distant and unreal, like stories in books. Only the ugliness and sweat and unrelenting tussle were close and terribly familiar We were caught and tangled in a mass of people for the most part resigned to their fate, sodden with hopelessness, and in a stupor of physical exhaustion. For the average boy it was easier to burrow deeper into the heap, taking the aroma and the drabness of the East Side into his soul, than to attempt the Gargantuan job of escaping.

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