WALTER DURANTY Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for a set of stories he wrote in 1931 as The New York Times’ Moscow correspondent, covering Joseph Stalin’s Five-Year Plan to industrialize the Soviet Union. Duranty, who died in 1957, enjoyed a lavish lifestyle during his 12 years in Moscow, and is widely seen as an apologist for Joseph Stalin. He is the subject of a 1990 biography called “Stalin’s Apologist?.


The New York Times hired a professor of Russian history to review Duranty’s work. That professor, Mark Von Hagen of Columbia University, says Mr. Duranty’s reports were unbalanced and uncritical, and they far too often gave voice to Stalinist propaganda.


In his New York Times articles, Duranty repeatedly denied the existence of the 1932 Ukrainian famine that is estimated to have killed between five million and 10 million Ukrainians, even though he knew of its existence. Because of this, several organizations have called on the Pulitzer Board to revoke his prize, but no action has been taken.