Foreign News: Beside the Quiet Don

On the river Don, deep in Cossack country, in the tiny village of Veshenskaya, lives gentle-mannered Mikhail Sholokhov. There, under the straw which roofs his three-room cottage, Sholokhov watches the great river swell and wither with the seasons and writes novels (such as And Quiet Flows the Don) which are the closest approach to enduring literature that revolutionary Russia has produced. An impressed American once said of Sholokhov: "He writes for no censorship except truth."

But in revolutionary Russia, truth is what the Communist Party's Agitation and Propaganda section says it should be. In remote, snowclad Veshenskaya, Sholokhov was summoned to lend...

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