Foreign News: Towers in Babel

Even more impressive than Moscow's skyscrapers is the vast edifice of phony literature which Stalin built around his life and works. When a novel or a play served his propaganda purposes, he boosted its sales to millions, made ruble millionaires out of his authors. A writer who had been critical, however, or one who merely failed to pay homage to the dictator, was. denied print, frequently banished to prison camp, sometimes executed. In walking the intellectual tightrope between these extremes, no Soviet writer has been more adroit than Ilya Ehrenburg.

Born in Moscow in...

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