The Gargoyle - Malcolm Muggeridge Society


The Gargoyle - Malcolm Muggeridge Society
The Gargoyle
The Journal of The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
APRIL 2004
“Ultimately I have come to think of Malcolm
(in one of his own metaphors)
as the gargoyle perched on the cathedral
steeple, a grinning, gnome-like figure
peering down at the antics of a world
gone mad, and at the same time
drawing attention heavenwards.”
Ian Hunter
(The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge )
“Let us, then, while as we should, revering the
steeples, remember the gargoyles, also in their
way purveyor’s of God’s word, and be thankful
that, when the gates of Heaven swing open, as
they do from time to time, mixed with the
celestial music is the unmistakable sound of
celestial laughter”
Malcolm Muggeridge
(unpublished article quoted by Ian Hunter)
The Gargoyle
Page 2 Letter from the President
Page 3 Malcolm Muggeridge – A Personal View – John Dixon
Page 4 A Twentieth Century Gadfly – Ian Hunter
Page 6 The Ground Mourns – Malcolm Muggeridge and the
Ukraine Famine – David Malone
Page 11 The Consummate Professional: recalling a day spent
with Muggeridge – David Virtue
Page 13 Incurring Royal Displeasure – David Williams
Page 15 Seeing through the Eye: Muggeridge, the Prophet of
the Media Age – Canon David Winter
Page 19 Bibliography – further reading on the Ukraine famine
Page 20 The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
All with an interest in the work
and the varied life of Malcolm
Muggeridge are invited to join
this Society. See back page for
full membership details or look
up the Society’s website:
The Gargoyle is published
quarterly and contributions are
welcomed by the Editor on any
aspect of Malcolm’s diverse life.
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Letter from the President of the Society
n this second edition of The Gargoyle we are
including a variety of articles written on both sides of
the Atlantic about Malcolm Muggeridge. Some
members are new to Malcolm’s writing and know little
about his life and background – others have interest in
particular aspects and there are those who are extremely
knowledgeable. It is therefore to be hoped that this issue
may fill in some of the gaps at least for those who have not
yet read any of the biographies and stimulate further
reading. I am delighted that so many admirers of
Malcolm’s work have decided to become founder
members, joining as stipulated within the Centenary Year.
Whilst our list of founder members is now closed, we
continue to extend an invitation to join to all with an
interest in Malcolm Muggeridge’s life and times.
It is still early days for us as a Literary Society and
our members are very widely dispersed globally – in
England, Canada, the United States, Egypt and Australia.
So, much of what we can offer members must be based on
The Gargoyle and also on use of the website.
However, we are holding events in London, the United
States and Egypt this year and details will be promulgated
when dates, speakers and venues are finalised.
I was delighted that the two UK performances of
‘Mugg Shots’ back in January were both complete sellouts. It was heartening to see so many people from
diverse walks of life wanting to learn more about Malcolm
Muggeridge, convincingly portrayed by Peter Stockbridge.
I am still receiving many requests and enquiries for
Malcolm’s books and I regret there has been a problem in
getting seven of his major works back in print due to
publishing difficulties. This has been recently resolved in
consultation with the Executors of the estate but in the
meantime I do urge members to keep an eye on where a regular supply of new and used
books are offered, as well as other interesting Muggeridge
memorabilia such as his recordings.
Kind regards
Sally Muggeridge
[email protected]
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Malcolm Muggeridge – A Personal View
By John Dixon
He made one see that the entire edifice of
twentieth century culture was constructed on a
morass of lies. There was also a sense of
joyous deliverance in realizing that
irreverence and scepticism were the true
gateway to religious faith, and not pious
observance of accepted convention, as I had
been brought up to believe.
eference in the media and elsewhere to the
life and work of Malcolm Muggeridge
seems to me, at the moment, to be lamentably sparse.
Even in the Catholic Press which regularly features
articles on other Catholic writers like Chesterton, Belloc,
Waugh and Greene, Muggeridge is largely ignored. In
my opinion, this deprives the Church of its greatest single
asset: the one individual whose uninhibited declamations
against our materialistic society and his sense of
foreboding about its future prospects are more relevant to
the current dilemmas which besiege the Church than any
other factor.
Muggeridge was born in 1903 and died in 1990.
His life therefore spanned all but thirteen years of the
twentieth century. In grossly simplified terms, one could
say that the first half of that century was stigmatized by
an insane belief in some sort of collective regeneration,
while the second half was assiduously dedicated to the
cult of individual hedonism. Muggeridge’s response to
both was typically iconoclastic. In the first case, his
wrath was directed against all the brainwashed
idealogues who countenanced unspeakable travesties in
the cause of utopianism; and in the second, he constantly
pilloried the antics of the liberal establishment who
promoted and presided – and for that matter, still do –
over the disintegration of society itself.
However, I cannot believe that this sorry state of
affairs is anything but a temporary eclipse. Both the
prophetic poetry and paintings of William Blake and the
sublime music of Johann Sebastian Bach were more or
less completely forgotten in the aftermath of their deaths:
a circumstance which may have filled their immediate
admirers with disappointment, but which was amply
compensated in the fullness of time. Nor do I think it
inappropriate to make such a seemingly grandiose
comparison with these two great artists. The public
perception may be that Muggeridge was merely a
journalistic hack and television presenter rather than
what passes today for an imaginative writer, but in truth,
even his contributions in these fields were informed by a
depth of insight and understanding equal to any of the
major creative visionaries of our now defunct
civilisation. Certainly, neither the vast majority of his
fellow pundits, not even his fellow artists, could hope to
emulate his example.
In the years since his death, it is becoming
increasingly clear that the disastrous policies of the latter,
the liberalists, are fast precipitating the end of
Democratic freedom, as we know it, if not actually
conniving at the existence of any sort of order at all.
Whether we will end up by creating a utilitarian state
with all its sinister ramifications made possible by the
potentialities of science, or whether we will simply lapse
into an indefinite period of unchronicled barbarism, it is
difficult to say. In any event, our first priority must be to
preserve the Christian religion in such a way that it will
remain uncontaminated by the forces of destruction
which have brought about this unhappy state of affairs.
It will then be able to transmit its fundamental truths
across the coming dark ages to some future, more
enlightened generation who will genuinely want to return
to a civilised way of life.
Ever since I first read Muggeridge at the age of
twenty-two, or thereabouts, (Tread Softly for You Tread
on My Jokes) I instinctively felt that here was a writer
quite out of the ordinary run. Now that I have read many
more writers who were, roughly speaking, his
contemporaries – or if I have not read them, I have read
about them – this impression continues to persist. Of
course, I cannot say that, at the time, I appreciated the
full complexity and range of his mind. Nor that I do so
now. I was merely entranced by the sweet spirit of
anarchy that exuded from every page he wrote: an
anarchy which was essentially mystical rather than
political; the latter being, of course, as Muggeridge knew
better than anyone, merely the substitution of one system
of order for another. I loved the way he reduced hallowed
institutions like the Monarchy, Parliament and
Universities to the level of complete farce: also the deft
ease with which he punctured the reputation of revered
and solemn authors. But I think what appealed to me
most was the way he debunked all the assumptions,
prejudices and ersatz philosophies of the modern world.
I can see no better way of doing this than by
resurrecting the memory and posthumous wisdom of the
one man who, more than any other, lived through and
saw through all the monstrous fantasies of the twentieth
John Dixon lives in Storrington, England and is currently
working on a book about Malcolm Muggeridge,
assessing his contribution to Christian thought.
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A Twentieth Century Gadfly
By Ian Hunter
n the years since his death on November 14,
1990, Malcolm Muggeridge has been largely
preferring instead to test my shaky knowledge of close
corporations or the remoter slopes of the Income Tax
However, with the centenary of his birth
occurring last year (he was born March 24, 1903) - there
has at least recently been something of a mini-revival:
last May an international conference at Wheaton College,
the repository of Muggeridge's papers; a rebroadcast of
his autobiographical television series Muggeridge
Ancient and Modern; and some of his books reissued.
Last December’s issue of Touchstone Magazine featured
a re-evaluation of Muggeridge. Roger Kimball in the
New Criterion; R. J. Stove in the American Conservative;
R. Emmett Tyrrell in the American Spectator;
Christopher Howse in the English Spectator; and
Christopher Hitchens in the Weekly Standard, all have
recently tried to take the measure of the man whom
Punch cartoonist Wally Fawkes ("Trog") christened "St.
Mugg". When I say that each has failed it is not an
arrogant indictment, rather recognition of the
impossibility of capturing Muggeridge's incredibly
diverse life, or his quicksilver personality, even at book
length, let alone in an article.
I first met Malcolm in the autumn of 1968 when
he came to Toronto to give a lecture at the St. Lawrence
Centre. On this occasion, I asked him about a short story
he had written in India in the early twenties. At first, he
barely remembered, then he said: "Nobody has
mentioned that story to me in 50 years! Now we really
must talk." He went on to tell me how Mahatma Gandhi
had published his first stories and articles in his
newspaper, Young India. Thereupon, Malcolm and I fell
into real conversation, and then correspondence, which
continued pretty much uninterrupted for the next twenty
odd years.
The same year we met, Muggeridge published
Jesus Rediscovered, which became an immediate,
unlikely bestseller, planting unshakably in the public
mind the belief that he had undergone some sort of latterday Damascus Road conversion. That this was not so,
that Jesus Rediscovered was only the fruit of a lifelong
spiritual pilgrimage, I knew from my study of his early
writings. Eventually I compiled and edited an anthology
(Things Past, 1978) to prove the point. But it scarcely
mattered. Myth often has greater staying power than
reality, and the myth of a latter-day St. Mugg grew
Teacher, playwright, novelist, social historian,
spy, editor, satirist, broadcaster, journalist, and much else
besides, Muggeridge was a twentieth century gadfly who
defies any easy categorization.
In 1978-79 Muggeridge and I swapped houses,
he to fulfill a rash commitment he had made to his friend,
journalist Andrew MacFarlane, who was then Dean of
Journalism at Western, to take on a stint as the
University's "Distinguished Visitor" (or as Malcolm
preferred - going so far as to change his office sign - "Old
Hack in Residence"). I went to England to live in his
house (standing since Shakespeare's day) in rural Sussex,
and there I wrote the first biography of this fascinating
In 1966, when I should have been immersed in
statutes, regulations and cases at the University of
Toronto law school, I was more often ensconced in the
periodical stacks at Central Library, then located at the
corner of College and St. George Streets, just south of
my student digs, reading Muggeridge's prolific
journalism. I had stumbled across Muggeridge quite by
chance and was first struck by his eloquent, wry,
effortlessly readable prose, so clear, pungent, and often
devastating. His sceptical mind and loathing for cant
were a welcome purgative to the academic conversations
going on all around me.
The success of Muggeridge's religious books
(particularly Jesus Rediscovered, and his book on Mother
Teresa, Something Beautiful for God) have somewhat
obscured his earlier work: In A Valley of this Restless
Mind, originally published in 1938 and reissued in 1978,
which I consider his masterpiece; Winter in Moscow,
published in 1932, which circulated for years in handcopied samizdat through the far-flung camps of the
Gulag Archipelago, influencing among others, Alexander
Solzhenitsyn; and The Thirties, his social history of a low
dishonest decade that began, Muggeridge wrote, "in the
hope of progress without tears and ended in the reality of
tears without progress."
I had soon exhausted what Muggeridge was
available on the shelves or through Britnell's order desk.
Next came out-of-print books through inter-library loans.
Then, via the Index to Periodical Literature, I began
working my way backwards through the 1950s, 40s, 30s,
even into the 1920s via back numbers of the Guardian,
the New Statesman, Time and Tide, and other dusty
periodicals. In my third year of law school, I could have
answered any question concerning Muggeridge;
unfortunately, these were scarce, the examiners
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is about. I remember his humility, a true humility of the
spirit which embraced everyone as a creature created in
the image of a loving God and thus infinitely precious at the same time, all trousered apes, derisory in their
human self-importance, the butt of all jokes, even the fall
of man being nothing more than the old banana skin
pratfall played out on a cosmic stage. And I remember
his laughter, building within, erupting outwards, so that
sometimes out for a stroll we had to stop and hold on to a
post or a tree until the gale spent itself.
A consistent thread in all of Malcolm's writing
is satire, one reason that he was recognized as the
godfather by the upstart crew that launched Britain's
satiric magazine Private Eye. During the Suez crisis,
Muggeridge apotheosized Anthony Eden in an article
called Boring for England: "he was not only a bore, he
bored for England." This article pretty much finished
Eden's political career. Earlier he had similarly
dispatched U.S. Foreign Secretary John Foster Dulles:
"Dull. Duller. Dulles." In post-war Tokyo, Muggeridge
had portrayed Emperor Hirohito this way: "a nervous,
shy, shuffling, stuttering, pathetic figure, formerly god."
And of Margaret Thatcher, he said: "A strong personality
but with the unmistakable air of the supermarket about
Malcolm once said that if ever, in fear and
trembling, he approached the pearly gates and saw them
swing open, he would listen for the sound of celestial
laughter within, and if he did not hear it he would ask to
be sent to the other place. Such fond hopes are not
disappointed; nor is it a fancy that, occasionally, when I
strain, amidst the celestial revelry, I think I do hear a
distinctive cackle.
As the BBC television's first "talking head"
Malcolm was billed as "the man you love to hate". When
he wrote an article called Royal Soap Opera about the
British monarchy he became hated indeed. His house was
vandalized and he received death threats. One must
remember that this was before Princess Diana came on
the scene to demonstrate the acuity of Muggeridge's
insight. Malcolm's newspaper column was dropped and
he was banned from the BBC.
Article first published in National Post, August 11, 2003
One journalist who came to his assistance was
the National Post's Robert Fulford, then editor of
Maclean's. Fulford commissioned a series of articles by
Muggeridge from various Canadian cities. Unfortunately,
Malcolm started in Fredericton, where Max Aitken (Lord
Beaverbrook) had spent his youth. Muggeridge stayed at
the Beaverbrook Hotel, visited the Beaverbrook Library
and Art Gallery, took in the Beaverbrook Monument in
the Beaverbrook Public Gardens, where, in the middle
stood the Beaverbrook Bird Bath. The town had become
a shrine, he wrote, compared to which Shakespeare
appeared to be forgotten in Stratford on Avon, and
Napoleon ignored in Corsica. Why not rename the town
Beaverbrookton and be done with it?
Professor Ian Hunter has taught at several
Canadian universities and been a visiting
scholar at Cambridge University. He has
written numerous articles on Malcolm
Muggeridge and has edited two books of
collected writings, “Things Past” (1978) and
“The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge”
(1998). He was also the first of Malcolm’s
biographers “Malcolm Muggeridge – A Life”
(1980). His other biographical works include
“The Life of Hesketh Pearson”.
This article caused fresh offence. Beaverbrook
was furious and the ban on Muggeridge was intensified.
Still, he went on telling uncomfortable truths, reminding
people how often the Emperor was actually naked.
An article by Ian Hunter appeared in the
December 2003 issue of Touchstone magazine
under the title “Seeing Thro’ the Eye”.
Malcolm's last years were difficult. His mind
disintegrated and at the last he was confined in a nursing
home. But neither his indomitable will nor his humour
were ever completely extinguished.
US Membership Subscriptions:
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Now, when I think of Malcolm, as I often do, I
remember his kindness and generosity; a wiser mentor
and a kinder friend no aspiring writer ever had. I
remember his courage in speaking his mind, often against
the prevailing orthodoxy. I remember his books, which
more than any university or teacher, taught me what life
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The Ground Mourns – Malcolm Muggeridge and the Ukraine Famine
By David Malone
reported in the newspapers or discussed in the halls of the
Fabian Society.
Hear this, you elders; listen, all who
live in the land. Has anything like this
ever happened in your days or in the
days of your forefathers? Tell it to your
children, and let your children tell it to
their children, and their children to the
next generation.
Joel 1:2-3
After World War I, the former dynasties of East
and Central Europe crumbled creating a region of nations
struggling over territory and borders. During the Russian
Revolution, Ukraine sought to maintain its independence
fighting against Russian, German, and other armies.
After the battles from 1917 to 1921, however, Ukraine
was conquered and divided between the Bolsheviks and
the newly established Polish Republic. Afterwards,
Ukraine’s harvests which had fed Europe since the days
of Ancient Greece, became a prized resource and the
communists immediately tapped the vitality of this new
region. Resistance cropped up against the Bolshevik’s
plans and guerilla fighting ensued. [Famine, p. 1-2] The
Ukrainians were quite hostile to the Russians and said
“You have made the revolution. Go and live with it and
don’t come to us.” [Famine, p. 161]
hough the prophet Joel speaks of locusts
and their symbolism concerning Israel’s
failure to serve God, his recounting of despair and
destruction is not unfamiliar to many. His prophetic
words call for remembrance and action. Through the
recollection of past events, in Joel’s instance God’s
continual grace and ever-present mercy to Israel, we may
be called to our own courageous action.
In this article I wish to examine the insight,
despair and courage of Malcolm Muggeridge in light of
the Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s.
After conquering Ukraine, Lenin sought to ease
relations and allowed Ukraine to sell its own grain on the
open market. Ukraine—its people and culture—began to
thrive and grow. In 1923 efforts were made throughout
the Soviet Union to integrate newly acquired lands and
peoples into the Soviet system and “Ukrainization” was
instituted. By allowing and aiding cultural development
and expression the Soviets hoped to gain a foothold in
Ukraine and bring them in line with the Soviet order.
Ever since Karl Marx articulated his economic
and social dialectic, his ideas garnered adherents,
particularly in Britain where he had lived for many years.
The strict class-divisions of Victorian and Edwardian
England, along with doses of Christian social gospel,
helped foster aspirations for a classless society that
sought the good of all individuals. Marx emphasized that
an increasingly industrial society alienates the worker
from the product of their labors. Mitigating somewhat
against more extremist elements, the British Fabian
Society was committed to using Marxist ideas to
gradually bring about social change. They heartily
welcomed the promises of the Russian Revolution in
1917. Early members of the Fabians were H.G. Wells,
George Bernard Shaw, and Beatrice and Sydney Webb.
To some degree this worked, however, after
Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin became alarmed at the
autonomy that Ukraine enjoyed and he sought to remove
all traces of Ukrainian nationalism.
This was
accomplished through the First Five Year Plan, which
called for the collectivization of agriculture. In the broad
Soviet ideal collectivization was a means to bring
together privately-owned resources for the good of the
worker—the proletariat. In some cases communalism
was taken as far as the sharing of clothing and footwear.
[Famine, p. 18] In the Soviet system the worker—the
humanity in the middle of industrialization—was valued
above the farmer. One historian noted that
“collectivization was extractive rather than productive
and taking people’s implements and livestock to the
center of the village and forcing them to plant and
harvest in common did nothing to raise agricultural
output, but it made it much easier for the state to take a
greater share of the harvest directly from the floor of a
single threshing room.” [Famine, p. 5]
It is in this environment that Malcolm
Muggeridge was born and reared. His father, Henry
Thomas Muggeridge, was a Labour Party Member of
Parliament. The context of Muggeridge’s childhood and
education reinforced socialist and Fabian ideals to the
point that he eagerly anticipated moving to Russia and to
participate in the Utopia that was being developed there.
In fact, when Muggeridge resigned from the Manchester
Guardian, where he had been a leader writer and
“favoured child”, he and his wife, Kitty, sold all of their
belongings and expected not to live in England again.
They were in search of a country with a future and
wanted to leave behind a country that they believed only
had a past. [The Green Stick, 25] The Russia that they
would find, however, would not be the Russia that was
The Soviet response to those who resisted
collectivization was to raise the quotas established for
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seen as wealthy and were publicly derided and oppressed
by the Soviets. Stalin developed an official policy of
restricting their rights and finally eliminating them all
together. Along with their farms their possessions were
seized as well. From 1931 to 1934 Stalinist policy
transplanted nearly 1 million kulaks to remote areas of
the Soviet Union where they served as slave labor. In
their place Stalin installed activists to foster and force
change and to eliminate any nationalist dreams or
Despite these efforts, the Ukrainians
continued to revolt through outright rebellion or through
sabotaging crops or else refusing to work. Eventually
official representations of a kulak came to mean any type
of resistor. [Famine, p. 28]
small independent farmers. This met with little success
and eventually the quotas on the collectives were raised
as well. To subdue the Ukrainians Stalin implemented
food rationing and internal passport programs. These
steps were implemented to crush any form of resistance.
When the rationing was instituted all private stores of
food were confiscated. Over 100,000 Soviet troops were
brought in to protect crops from theft and sabotage.
To further control the Ukrainians Stalin
liquidated the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church in 1929,
leaving behind only the state-influenced Russian
Orthodox Church. [Famine, p. 5] The goal of this was to
further destroy Ukraine as a political and social entity
and also to destroy any Ukrainian self-assertion all the
way down to the peasant class. [Famine, p. 2-4] These
actions were so successful that folk song lyrics
incorporated references to the oppression of Ukraine.
“Ah Ukraine, bread producing, And fertile. You
surrender tax in kind, And yourself go hungry.” [Famine,
p. 161]
Ukrainian resistance eventually led to stricter
measures from Moscow. Villages that resisted were
black-listed from all economic trade. Stores were closed
and their goods were confiscated. All resources were
removed and Ukraine’s borders were closed making it a
prison without food.
As the production and distribution of grain and
other food was controlled Ukrainians found themselves
in a dire situation. A midwife recounted that she was
only able to purchase two loaves of bread a month with
her salary—all the while when Ukraine was supplying
Europe with tremendous grain exports. To support
Soviet industrialization the Soviet system valued the
proletariat worker above the agrarian peasant. Great
hopes were at the foundation of the 5 Year Plan, but the
costs associated with its implementation were staggering.
The enormity of the situation was felt everywhere.
Muggeridge noted in his personal diaries upon his arrival
in Moscow that “Moscow is an exquisite city. All the
time I alternate between complete despair and wild hope.
Faces passing me in the street are so….” [diary entry,
16th Sept 1932]
Again, the words of the first chapter of Joel
echo the plight of Ukraine:
The fields are ruined, the ground is
dried up; the grain is destroyed, the
new wine is dried up, the oil fails.
Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine
growers; grieve for the wheat and the
barley, because the harvest of the field
is destroyed. The vine is dried up and
the fig tree is withered; the
pomegranate, the palm and the apple
tree- all the trees of the field-are dried
up. Surely the joy of mankind is
withered away.
Joel 1:10-12
Increasingly, Muggeridge would experience
despair rather than wild hope. The situation in Russia
was desperate. Muggeridge was quick to note that the
1932 harvest was well below the Government’s own
statistics. [diary entry, 16th September 1932] And, the
state of affairs was only to get worse.
By 1928, Stalin had solidified his power and in
the following years instituted a purge of Ukrainian
intellectuals. Thousands, including bishops, priests, and
writers, were arrested, imprisoned, and executed.
Throughout the early period of collectivization
Stalin directed his attention to a group known as kulaks.
The 1929 census defined a kulak household as a farm
capable of production valued at more than 800 roubles—
not a large sum. A farm of this type would have had “a
horse and a foal, one or two cows, a plough, mowing
machine and a shed or small barn.” Kulaks, thus defined,
did not possess a full complement of farm equipment,
such as a thresher and winnowing-machine, and their
social and economic standing didn’t compare to the
official descriptions of their wealth made by Soviet
leaders. Another way in which kulaks were defined was
whether they owned more than 24 acres. If so they were
“These people are starving”, he wrote, “– that’s
a fact; they’re building up, with some measure of success
and a great deal of waste – a number of great industries;
the country is governed by the stiffest dictatorship I’ve
ever come across so there is no way of estimating what
measure of popular support this grandiose Five Year Plan
has – entailing terrible sacrifices, particularly on the part
of the poorest people (the peasants) – however, to find
out I must learn Russian.” [diary entry, 22nd September
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However, those in England still “toed the party
line”as they wistfully believed in the ultimate goals of
the Soviet experiment. Muggeridge recounted a story told
to him by the wife of Christian Science Monitor
correspondent William Henry Chamberlin. “Bernard
Shaw told Mrs. Chamberlin that everyone was well fed in
Russia. She explained to him that if her child had only
had the milk to which she was entitled by virtue of her
food card she would, to all intents and purposes, have
had none. “Why don’t you feed the child yourself?” he
asked. Mrs. Chamberlin pointed out that the child was
four years old. “That’s nothing,” he replied, “Eskimos
feed their children till 14 years. He is a preposterous old
fool. Quite senile.” [diary entry, 28th September 1932] A
few days earlier a French reporter had said of the Soviet
government, “Let me tell you in confidence – between
ourselves – it’s been a complete fantasy.” [diary entry,
23rd September 1932]
In 1930, in order to increase grain exports the
government began to requisition seed grain, ultimately
reducing its Collective managers
suggested rye as a wheat substitute, more suitable to the
region, but were punished as “anti-wheat” agitators.
[Famine, p. 20] The wide-eyed Communist reporter
from Manchester had not read of this in any British
As the internal allocations from harvests were
reduced the Ukrainians suffered great privation while
their grain was dumped on European and Western
markets. Despite the poor harvest of 1932 it was still
enough to feed all of Ukraine for two years. As word of
the famine emerged, Ukrainians abroad along with
international relief agencies raised funds to provide
famine relief. However, the Soviets denied that any
famine existed and stalled shipments at her borders.
Muggeridge found himself in Russia torn
between many competing demands. He had left England
without a fixed position or income serving as a free-lance
reporter. Kitty and he had also sold all of their
possessions and that had only created a small bank
account. He was under contract to finish a novel by 1st
January. They had no suitable or permanent housing.
And, Kitty was expecting their second child and became
dreadfully ill with typhus soon after their arrival. All of
these pressures kept the severity of the famine from
being a main focus of his attention and writing.
Great confusion grew in the West as conflicting
reports emerged about food shortages and starvation. All
of these were denied by the Soviet government,
reinforcing their claims with examples from Western
news reports. The Soviets pointed to reports from
correspondents like Walter Duranty of the New York
Times to keep its borders closed to international aid
organizations. In the midst of this Duranty was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize for his “dispassionate” reporting of the
news from Russia [Famine, p. 67] Duranty was also
granted another award along with the New York Times,
from the Nation, for the “most enlightening,
dispassionate, and readable dispatches from a great
nation in the making….” [Famine, p. 83] This is quite
interesting because Duranty skirted the truth and had
some of the densest and circuitous reporting that could be
found. To reporters in Moscow he was known as Walter
Obscuranty. [Famine, p. 85]
Nevertheless, Muggeridge did not shy away
from negative reporting on Stalin’s efforts in Russia.
However, for him reporting was not simply drafting and
cabling dispatches to Manchester. For Muggeridge, and
other reporters in Russia, his dispatches went through
official censors. This greatly restricted what was
reported. Along with this restricted reporting came
controlled news gathering. Many Western reporters
relied on the official Russian newspapers for any sort of
news and were dependent upon translators to understand
the content. As he noted in his autobiography, “nothing
happened…until it was reported in the newspapers.”
[Green Stick, 215]
Soon after Muggeridge’s arrival in Russia in
September 1932, he began to move beyond intuition and
began to face the sources of despair. Within two weeks
he wrote, “On the station platform we got into
conversation (much broken Russian!) with a peasant
women who said she came from Kiev where bread was
three roubles the pound and other food unobtainable. She
had come here in search of work and now could only find
a room at 100 roubles a month. She told her story, not
bitterly, not even in despair – just told it smilingly as
though it was all in the nature of things. From the point
of view of the Russian peasant, I suppose, starvation is in
the nature of things. A girl from the Germany colony in
the Volga said that in the factories workers sometimes
dropped down for want of food. To a newcomer like
myself it seems inconceivable that things could go on
like this.” [diary entry, 28th September 1932]
Muggeridge sought to learn Russian to get past
these barriers. He was so frustrated with the system that
he reacted as he did so often by developing an idea for an
article. Late in 1932 he wrote, “One thing I want to write
about and shall write about, sometime, is the Journalistic
Racket in the USSR. The racket is based on the fact that
the Soviet Government can always, by withdrawing a
visa, deprive a journalist of his livelihood. Also, as
Journalists come to settle down here and perhaps marry a
Russian wife, form economics links with the country, it
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
large number of people would emigrate from Russia if
they had the chance. There is a certain wastage even
amongst the picked men sent abroad.” [diary entry, 10th
October 1932]
can get at them by arresting hostages. Therefore, nearly
all foreign journalists in Russia are frightened of the
Government, and frightened to write anything that will
seriously displease the bosses. Cholerton’s sister-in-law
has been sent, they think, to Siberia and his wife’s
relations have been persecuted in order to bring pressure
on him….”[diary entry, 1st December 1932]
Later he recounts that “One day a young man
came to the door and asked to see the Correspondent
from the Manchester Guardian…. He said he had secret
information to impart…. He was, he said, from the North
Caucasus where people were starving and being shot for
storing grain. He left us a pile of newspapers and a
pamphlet. These we went through and made notes. They
told an appalling story. The treatment of the peasants by
the Soviet Government is, in its way, one of the worst
crimes of history. I shall send an account of it to the
Manchester Guardian. ‘Ask them abroad not to buy our
food,’ he kept saying. ‘Tell them to stop buying.
Otherwise we are ruined.’ He had been employed in a
canning export agency and knew what was being sent
abroad and at what prices. Cholerton gave him some food
and money. He was so hungry that, when he saw food,
he had to keep swallowing because the saliva came so
much into his mouth. Whether he was genuine, or a spy,
or just a cadger, I have no idea, but the newspapers tell
their own story….” [diary entry, 1st December 1932]
It is in light of “journalistic persecution” that
one can begin to understand, only slightly, the state of
journalism and accurate reporting in Russia. But, this
does not explain it all. Though the Russian newspapers
told their own story, it doesn’t fully explain how Western
reporters like Duranty could use euphemisms in his
descriptions of the famine in Ukraine, calling them “food
shortages.” His down-playing of the famine minimized
the great suffering and sorrow associated with it. Duranty
certainly took his lead from the Soviets whose official
death records often cited “bodily emaciation” as the
cause of death rather than starvation. [Famine, p. 32]
The Soviet Union used food as a weapon. It
engineered a famine to quell the desire for independence
in the Ukraine, all the while using its harvests to finance
urban industrialization. It was clearly known throughout
Russia what was happening. Now word was leaking out
to the West about the famine. As Muggeridge later
noted, this was all done with a “total absence of
sympathy.” Western leaders and sympathizers were
unable to believe that the Soviet Union would subject its
citizens to this sort of systematic treatment, especially as
it sought to have its grain export quotas raised in foreign
markets. Foreign visitors and reporters who requested to
investigate the famine first-hand were given guided tours
that diverted them from the real problem. Streets were
cleaned and shelves were stocked with food to avert
focus from the rural areas where many were dying.
And further, “I heard a remarkable story in
connection with the grain collection business. A peasant
woman with five children, from whom everything she
possessed had been taken, murdered her children and put
them in a sack in her empty barn. Then she went to the
GPU and reported that, after all, she had lied when she
had said that she had no more grain hidden; in reality she
had some grain in her barn. An officer went with her to
inspect it. She pointed to the sack with her dead children
in it. The officer opened the sack, and drew back, full of
horror, when he saw its contents. She, standing behind
him, hit him over the head with an axe, killing him, and
then gave herself up to the police….” [diary entry, 21st
December 1932]
At the beginning of the famine one town of
2,000 inhabitants had a four-room schoolhouse and a
vibrant village life. By the end of the famine less than
half of the town remained and the school was unable to
reopen because there were no children to attend.
[Famine, p. 22] A government official had not received
reports from another town and decided to visit and obtain
the information firsthand and chide local leaders for not
submitting required reports. Upon arrival the official
found the town empty of survivors, only greeted by
It was in this context that Malcolm Muggeridge
began to realize that he needed to get out of Moscow and
into the rural regions, particularly Ukraine. After the
New Year and the completion of his novel and with Kitty
back in England to give birth to their second child,
Muggeridge was able to devote his energies to the tragic
situation around him. After a dinner party with other
correspondents he recorded in his diary, “…Luciani
turned up late. ‘It’s like the eve of Waterloo,’ I said to
Duranty. ‘You’re wrong,’ he answered. ‘Absolutely
wrong. They’re getting away with it again. I regard this
new decree in the North Caucasus as victory – harnessing
the peasants to the plough because their horses are all
dead – Victory!’…” [diary entry, 24th January 1933]
Duranty admired the “strong and ruthless” power of
Stalin and his regime. [Green Stick, 255]
Muggeridge heard more and more tales of woe
from the countryside. His diary contains, “I walked back
with Moore and Sloane. The latter turned up from a
three months walk in the Caucasus. He was very smelly
and dirty, but not unpleasant. His enthusiasm for
Communism had diminished as a result of finding
himself amongst under-fed and deprived peasants…. A
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
deaths during World War I. Eventually in private and
strictest confidence, Duranty conceded that as many as
10 million people died from lack of food during late 1932
into late 1933. [Famine, p. 87] In 1941 Germany
invaded Ukraine already aware of the reality of the
famine, which the Nazis sought to use to discredit the
Soviets by exposing the mass graves of famine victims.
Not until the fall of Soviet communism was any official
acknowledgement made of the famine.
Though other reporters saw signs of the famine in early
1932 it was not until October that Duranty was willing to
concede that some form of food shortages may have
existed. His reporting made it clear that any food
shortages were due to the efforts of the peasants and their
“resistance to rural socialization.” [Famine, p. 70]
According to Duranty, “there is no actual starvation or
deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality
from diseases due to malnutrition…. [the] conditions are
bad, but there is no famine.” [Famine, p. 76] However,
after his meagre reporting of the “famine scare”, as he
called it, he collaborated with the Soviets to keep news of
the famine from others and openly ridiculed reporters
who had smuggled news out of Moscow. To further
keep news from the West, Moscow placed restrictions on
travel and limited what reporters could write about.
[Famine, p. 72] Leading papers of the West were willing
to live with the contradiction between official reports of
exceptional harvests and the letters from Ukrainians and
others detailing the death and starvation.
One may wish to believe that time has separated
us from such things; that we’ve progressed beyond the
severities of this type of inhumanity. We each tell
ourselves that if “I was there I would say or do
something.” But, regularly we find out differently. The
Scriptures clearly outline that despite clear natural and
special revelation that leaves us without excuse, we have
exchanged the truth for a lie. We have confounded
wisdom with knowledge. Recently I was discussing this
article with another faculty member from Wheaton and
he recounted the Chinese famine under Mao from 1958
to 1961 in which it is estimated that 30 to 40 Million died
of starvation replicating many of the policies and
practices of the Soviet famine. But one may argue that
we learned so much in the last forty years, certainly with
global news coverage these types of tragedies can’t
continue to happen. However, a recent article in the New
York Times proves this thinking wrong. In it, Eason
Jordan, chief news executive for CNN News, told of the
“life and death decisions at CNN Baghdad.” His article,
titled “The News We Kept to Ourselves,” recounted tales
of intimidation, torture, and un-reported news. Seventy
years has passed since the initial stifling of the truth in
Russia and it looks like little has changed in that time.
Abandoning himself to finding the truth,
Muggeridge defied Soviet travel bans and purchased
himself a train ticket out of Moscow. He told no one of
his plans and was not stopped in his efforts. As
Muggeridge traveled in comfort by train to Ukraine he
found it “tempting not to get down at any stations along
the way as [he] had planned, but just to continue in the
train.” [Green Stick, 257]. This is the test and temptation
that we all feel when we are set up against a wrong that is
clearly visible yet stands unchallenged.
After his trip he wrote his dispatches and sent
them back to England in diplomatic pouches thus skirting
the official Soviet censors. In England his dispatches
were held up at the Manchester Guardian—a citadel of
socialist journalism—waiting, as Muggeridge believed,
for other articles that would serve to neutralize the
severity and shock of what he saw. In his articles that
appeared on the 25th, 27th, and 28th of March 1933 he told
of “abandoned villages, the absence of livestock,
neglected fields; everywhere famished, frightened people
and intimations of coercion, soldiers about the place, and
hard-faced men in long overcoats.” He recounted a scene
of rope-bound peasants being herded into cattle cars at
gun-point. [Green Stick, 257]. Muggeridge was the first
foreign journalist to report after having gotten into the
famine areas without official supervision. After his
reports were printed they were denounced by many,
particularly Walter Duranty. He called Muggeridge’s
reports fabrications. Years later it would become clear
that Muggeridge’s testimony proved true.
Muggeridge went to Russia believing in
nothing, save the promise of communism, but left clearly
believing in something, the very existence of evil.
[Winter in Moscow, xiv] Though not immediately
addressing the evils he saw upon his arrival in Russia,
Muggeridge eventually stood against the tide of apathy
and personal interest and reported the truth, placing his
professional career at great risk. In the introduction to
Winter in Moscow, Muggeridge’s novel about his time in
Russia, Michael Aeschliman notes that “Muggeridge
reminds his reader of the prerogative and the duty of the
individual soul to know the truth, to serve the good,
however darkly visible; to try to live decently and
honorably in a “murky age” rife with fraud, lies, horror,
and varieties of barbarism, whether narcotic commercial
nihilism or lethal communist tyranny.” [Winter in
Moscow, xxiii]
At the height of the famine roughly 25,000
people, mainly peasants, were dying daily in Ukraine.
Some even resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
This is quite stark when compared with 6,000 daily
David Malone is Head of Archives & Special Collections
at Wheaton College. For Bibliography see p 19.
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
The Consummate Professional
-recalling a day spent with Muggeridge
By David W. Virtue
noticeable, and we continued to speed through London's
largely quiet Sunday streets to Broadcasting House, the
BBC's television headquarters near Oxford Circus.
arly on Sunday morning 29 September
1968, Malcolm drove over to Ashburnham
Place to pick me up for a live television programme we
were to do later that day in London. The weekly series
was “The Question Why” and tonight we were going to
have to try to find answers to “Why Christianity”. He
was enormously cheerful and greeted me warmly as I
approached the car. As we both drove back to Park
Cottage he talked non-stop, energized, no doubt, by the
forthcoming programme and the blow he hoped to strike
for The Christian Faith. We hurtled through the Sussex
countryside towards Robertsbridge and arrived just as
Kitty was putting the final touches to an early lunch she
had prepared for us prior to our going up to London.
We arrived shortly after lunch and were ushered
into a reception room where the other participants had
begun to gather. Malcolm began a round of hand-shaking
with those present. The head of the BBC's Religious
Affairs Department came into the room and greeted
Malcolm warmly. I watched fascinated as most of the
BBC types treated him with great deference. Drinks and
light snacks were served.
The line up was impressive. I was briefly
introduced to Professor A. J. Ayer whose Logical
Positivist school of philosophy I had studied at Victoria
University in Wellington, NZ and casually mentioned
that I was familiar with his thinking. I mentioned the
name of the Rev. Dr. Hughes who headed the Philosophy
department and who had taught me Logical Positivism
and Wittgenstein. Ayer said he remembered him as a
student. I noticed that Ayer consumed a large quantity of
alcohol as the hour progressed. Other participants
included Dr. Donald MacKay, Professor of
Communications at the University of Keele in
Staffordshire, a deeply committed Evangelical Christian
and author of the book Christianity in a Mechanistic
Universe - a symposium on Science and the Christian
Faith, a book incidentally, I had read as a student in New
Zealand. Sir Herbert Butterfield, England's best known
Church historian was also present, as was the Rev. Roy
Trevivian, a television personality in his own right.
Apart from an Anglican clergymen, the Rev. Leonard
Morrison, the group also included Desi Phillips,
Josephine Beaton, Dr. James Hemming, Alan Ryan,
Peter Toye, and the humanist Cynthia Kee. Here were
some of England's best minds both for and against
Christianity and I knew I was truly outclassed and way in
over my head. My heart sank.
She greeted me warmly and did her best to allay
my obvious fears. I was nervous to say the least, and on
several levels. I was still a little unsure of myself being
around such prominent people as Kitty and Malcolm,
though they had, by this time, made me feel like one of
the family. But I was now about to embark in waters
well and truly over my head. The teacup shook in my
hands as I tried to contemplate the next few hours. Kitty
did her best to soothe my jangled nerves. She said
Malcolm was an old hand at doing this kind of show and
I was not to worry about a thing.
After a plate of egg and toast and a second cup
of tea I began to relax. "My dear boy you will do just
fine," said Malcolm as he glanced through the Sunday
Telegraph. "Freddie Ayer will be on the show. He's
probably going to be the most antagonistic towards
Christianity, but there will also be one of your people, a
scientist, I believe, a man by the name of Professor
MacKay. Professor Herbert Butterfield, the distinguished
Christian historian will also be on as well as an
assortment of Anglican clergy of one stripe or another
but mostly liberal, a woman humanist and the Rev. Roy
Trevivian. There will be twelve altogether, not unlike
our Lord's original twelve, but distinctly unlike them as
most of this group including the clergy wouldn't trust
Jesus to walk on water if their lives depended on it." It
was the icebreaker I needed. We all collapsed laughing.
After breakfast we set off for London. Kitty gave us both
big hugs and again told me not to worry. All would be
Malcolm introduced me to some of his BBC
friends as a young Christian from the Commonwealth
that he and his wife had befriended. I felt flattered and
honoured. And then it was rehearsal time. After we had
all been 'made over' by make-up girls we were ushered
into a studio and seated in two rows. Camera rehearsal
now began in earnest. Malcolm spoke his opening lines:
We left before midday heading up the A21
towards London. Driving with Malcolm I discovered,
was something of an event in itself. We hurtled at
breakneck speeds until we reached the outskirts of the
city. Here Malcolm slowed somewhat, scarcely to be
MUGGERIDGE: "We are still nominally a Christian
country, but the number of those who even nominally
continue to practice the Christian religion is fast
diminishing. Nor is there, I should say, even among
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
proclaiming a kingdom not of this world and a god of
love whose children we all are, have a unique relevance
and enchantment. Now, is this really so? Or just an
An intimation, as some critics kindly
suggested, of on-coming senility? Perfectly possible of
course. Or perhaps an old heresy sprouting up again in an
uninstructed mind. Do we need Christianity today?
Have the Christian saints and mystics anything to offer to
us? Or is it the case, as many contemporary sages insist,
that we now have come of age, that we are men like
gods, who can sort out our own affairs without the
intervention of a god or the comradeship of a saviour? In
other words, Why Christianity?
them much agreement about what being a Christian
signifies today. Does this matter? Someone yelled "cut"
and Malcolm started again. "I personally have come to
see Christianity as a very bright light in a rapidly
darkening world - a light from which it is impossible,
even if I wanted to, avert my eyes. It seems to me that,
as our world continues to fall apart in strife, violence and
disorder, the words of the Founder of the Christian
religion proclaiming a kingdom not of this world, and a
God of Love whose children we all are, have a unique
relevance and enchantment."
I watched as the camera panned from left to
right as Malcolm continued his off the cuff monologue.
"Is this indeed so? Or just a delusion intimating, as some
kinder critics have suggested, oncoming senility? Some
old heresy sprouting again in an uninstructed mind? Do
we need Christianity today? Have the Christian saints
and mystics anything for us? Or have we truly become,
as many of our contemporary sages insist, men like gods
capable of sorting out our affairs without the intervention
of a god or the comradeship of a saviour? In other
words, Why Christianity?”
Now, David, you're - I should think - probably the
youngest person here. Let me start with you. Why are
you a Christian in these circumstances?
VIRTUE: Well, because I believe, Malcolm, that
Christianity is true. Because I believe that Christianity is
about Jesus Christ and I believe that the most important
thing today that this generation needs to know is that
Jesus Christ is alive, and that not only is He alive, but
that he is working his purposes in the world today, and
even more important than that, he is working out his
purposes in the hearts and lives of men and women who
will put their faith and trust in him.
The studio producer stepped forward and
announced that the rehearsal had gone swimmingly.
Some arc lights were altered and we filed out for more
drinks and food. Malcolm was effusive and told me not
to worry about a thing. "My dear boy you will do
absolutely fine. Relax. You looked excellent on the
monitor. God will give you the words to say. Trust Him.
Millions will be watching, but think only of what you are
going to say. The testimony of your words and life will
shine through."
MUGGERIDGE: Josephine, as a humanist, I don't
suppose that you would agree with that.
BEATON: No. Not at all. There are several points I
would like to make which are, for me, the main
objections to Christianity&&
And so we were all off into a long animated
argument, I having been deliberately thrown by Malcolm
straight into the deep end. Space prevents me from
transcribing here the whole discussion which lasted a full
hour. On occasion, everyone wanted to talk at the same
time but Malcolm skilfully brought everyone in and
guided the debate, often gently prodding and provoking
his guests. To Ayer for instance “how you manage to be
a Professor of Logic Freddie I'll never know...your
position is pathetic...” to which Ayer retorted “Well, in
that case , Malcolm, let us get back to your humbug
about suffering. There always has been an enormous
amount of suffering in the world. Most of the people in
the world have lived very miserable lives, very short
lives, disease, not having enough, no opportunity to feed
their children, deprived of hope throughout the world.
And many people in Eastern countries also do so. Now,
if you say, that there is going to be compensation for this
in an after life, then I think that is humbug.” “I didn't say
that” Malcolm rejoined.....
My heart sank even deeper. Millions watching!
I choked. Someone pushed a cup of coffee into my
hands and I gratefully drank it. And then it was 6pm and
time for the real show to begin. We filed back into the
studio and took our seats once again. The floor manager
signalled for silence and gave a fingers countdown to
Malcolm. Then he was on.
MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE: Has the Christian religion
any further part to play in our lives and history? That's
really the Question Why this evening. Of course, we live
in a society which is still nominally Christian. But the
number of those who practice the Christian religion, even
nominally, is steadily diminishing. Nor is there, I should
suppose, much agreement even among them about what
being a Christian today signifies. Now does this matter?
I personally have come to see Christianity as a very
bright light. So bright that even if I wanted to, I shouldn't
be able to avert my eyes from it. It seems to me
abundantly clear that as our society falls to pieces in
conflict and strife and violence, the life and death and
words of the founder of the Christian religion
Shortly, with the conversation still in full flow
the voices faded into music and the monitor above our
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
looking forward to Kitty's take on the show. Freddie was
appalling and I believe most people will see that. I was
most impressed with Professor MacKay. He is a
thoughtful man and did an excellent job from your side
of the road."
heads went black the producer announced it was over.
We got up and moved out of the studio into the reception
room. Everyone talked ten to the dozen. I was strangely
elated by the whole thing and chatted briefly with
Professor MacKay who thought some good had come out
of the programme but felt frustrated that no one topic
engendered any long or in-depth discussion. He was
probably right.
We talked all the way back to Robertsbridge
where Kitty greeted us with great effusiveness. "You
were marvellous David, but what a scramble at the end.
Freddie looked and sounded awful." We all agreed. She
gave us both a light supper and after ruminating on the
evening's event yet again, Kitty shunted us both off to
bed. I hardly slept, going over in my mind all the things I
said - and things I wished I had said.
In the reception room we were offered more
food and drink. Ayer looked and sounded furious talking
animatedly to Cynthia Kee as he headed straight for the
open bar. Hard liquor was served, and drunk. Malcolm
talked to all and sundry and was sounding both lively and
extremely sociable. He thanked us all for coming. The
producer came into the room and told us all that it was
the best of the “Question Why” series he had done to date
and said they would repeat the programme again at
11pm. Malcolm was ecstatic. So was I. After a brief
round of goodbyes Malcolm and I took our leave.
London never seemed so bright as we stepped into the
night air. I loved London as I had never loved it before.
The car was brought around for us and Malcolm took the
wheel and headed us back to Robertsbridge.
David Virtue owns and operates the world's largest
orthodox Anglican Online News Service for
Anglicans around the world. His website has been
accessed more than one million times and can be
found at He was a guest
speaker at the “Muggeridge Rediscovered”
centenary seminar in Wheaton, Illinois. A full
transcript of the debate “Why Christianity” is
available online to members of the Society.
"My boy you did brilliantly. The whole thing
came off much better than I thought it would. I'm
Incurring Royal Displeasure
Muggeridge forsees problems for the Monarchy in a television age
by David Williams
t was the broadcast media of radio and
television in the post-war years which was to
give Muggeridge another change of career and to make
him a household name. He was found to be a natural
broadcaster, with excellent diction, wide vocabulary,
deep intellect and quick wit. He was also able to think
on his feet, rarely at a loss for a stinging riposte, gentle
jibe or perceptive observation.
The 1950’s was a very different age, still largely
one of deference offered to both aristocracy and to
politicians. Class structure and politeness was deeply
engrained into British society. No such social restriction
applied in the more egalitarian USA. Perhaps foolishly,
Malcolm agreed to write an article for an American
magazine The Saturday Evening Post on the subject of
royalty. He was duly paid and then forgot all about it.
Cigarette holder in hand and sometimes totally
wreathed in cigarette smoke, he would effect in his well
enunciated drawl a question or statement that was usually
both eloquent in composition and intellectual in content.
He was uniquely relaxed in front of the camera and
television made him one of its early personalities. People
loved him, or loathed him.
In fact, there had been some background to his
thoughts on monarchy. Two years earlier he had
previously written a similarly critical article for the New
Statesman entitled ‘Royal Soap Opera’, motivated by the
Princess Margaret and Captain Townsend courtship and
the controversy that ensued.
Whilst the Evening
Standard had lambasted his views at the time, he did not
think that repetition of something similar in another
American magazine would cause any further notice. He
was already labelled as an anti-monarchist and a
republican. It was a brilliantly written and largely
humorous article, impish and perceptive by an observant
and pithy journalist. But it was also a serious mistake.
However, Muggeridge had not totally
abandoned writing. And it was back using his pen,
shortly after having departed from Punch which really
brought him disaster and notoriety.
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
Panorama on the subject of the monarchy was cancelled.
Matters had become too hot for the show to proceed.
The Saturday Evening Post article caught him,
as well as the monarchy, totally off-guard. It caused an
international furore. Firstly, publication of the article
was somewhat mischieviously delayed by the magazine.
It was only published some five months later on 19th
October 1957, coinciding with an important State Visit of
the Queen and Prince Philip to Washington. Secondly,
the title was changed without Malcolm’s knowledge
from the original title of “Royal Soap Opera” to “Does
England Really Need a Queen?”. Instead of the straight
reporting of the visit, expected to fill the newspapers in
the US and at home, this question was being posed in the
Saturday Evening Post by an English journalist and it
stole the headlines. The story was now the continued
existence and relevance of the Monarchy and articles hit
the newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic with a storm
of public reaction. Malcolm flew to the US and
brilliantly defended the article in a television exchange
with Mike Wallace, public prosecutor of American
Television at that time. But the programme had to be
blacked out in Washington so as not to cause offence or
cause further embarrassment, such was the sensitivity.
Some took particular exception to the article,
and slogans were written on Muggeridge’s cottage,
excrement and razor blades were posted through his
door. Even death threats were made and someone wrote
commending the fact that their youngest son Charles, a
naval officer, had been killed a few months before whilst
skiing. Even Douglas Muggeridge, a nephew employed
within the BBC, felt the pressure and seriously thought of
changing his name, such was the invective flying around
the corridors of Broadcasting House.
No doubt some embarrassment was caused to
the Queen and Prince Philip and their hosts on their state
visit to Washington. They could not possibly have been
totally insulated from the row raging in the media at
home, in the US and in the wider Commonwealth. But
Muggeridge accurately charted the future course of the
monarchy, the difficulties inherent of a new television
age and the insatiable appetite of the press. As he wrote
in 1957 “The Duke of Edinburgh’s valet or a former
royal governess like Crawfie can command for their
reminiscences sums which even Mr Noel Coward or Mr
Somerset Maughan might envy”. Diana Spencer or Paul
Burrell had not even been born at that time.
At home, British newspapers such as the Sunday Express
and the People gleefully highlighted bits taken out of
their original context. Headlines gave the impression of a
malicious, unfair and ill-timed personal attack on the
Queen by Muggeridge whilst she was overseas doing her
duty. Traditionally expected by their proprietors to be
reverential in their reporting of issues concerning the
Queen and Royal Family, newspapers could now publish
selectively and controversially under the cloak of news
reporting. Indeed, the UK press had a field day. Through
the device of reported speech the press could say what
otherwise couldn’t be openly debated at that time. The
compounding problem was that the article itself, dealing
at length in a reasoned manner with the history and
development of the monarchy was not published in full
in Britain. Given the mores of British society at that
point in history, very few people in the UK would have
had the opportunity to read the article in full.
Muggeridge’s main contention was that the monarchy
provided a sort of ersatz religion to the masses with a
somewhat childlike reverence of spectacle and
figurehead to be worshipped and adored.
In 1981, a UK publication “The Listener” felt
able to report on the famous Muggeridge clash with the
establishment, publishing a full reprint of the original
article. This time it caused no controversy and maybe
indicated how much social attitudes in Britain had
changed in the intervening years.
The Queen found it difficult to forgive and
forget, as Anthony Howard reported of a conversation at
Windsor Castle. Lord Longford had just been created a
Knight of the Garter and could not resist trying to do his
bit for his Sussex friend and neighbour. “You know
Ma’am, Malcolm Muggeridge is really a very nice man”.
The Queen just contented herself with looking
thoughtful. Despite never giving Muggeridge an honour
of any sort, perhaps she did come to think more kindly of
him with the passing of years – she sent Malcolm and
Kitty a telegram conveying congratulations on their 60th
wedding anniversary. But by then the storyline of the
developing soap opera firmly held the country in thrall.
However, he also unchivalrously described the
attractive young Queen in unflattering terms. “It is
Duchesses, not shop assistants, that find the Queen
dowdy, frumpish and banal” suggested Muggeridge.
Whilst implying there was a class divide in the various
views held of the monarchy, the headlines of the UK
newspapers simply screamed “Queen dowdy, frumpish
and banal says Muggeridge”.
Today the media now routinely examine and
dissect every aspect of the Royal Family, including the
role and behaviour of the monarch, without apparent
censure, and often without notice. Perceptive and
accurate in his prophesy, Muggeridge had merely found
himself ahead of the popular view of his time.
The BBC came under great pressure to
terminate Malcolm’s contract and an interview on
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
Seeing Through The Eye:
Muggeridge, the Prophet of the Media Age
by Canon David Winter
company secretary, so the Muggeridge family was not
poor. Indeed, the neighbours in Birdhurst Gardens,
Sanderstead, were highly respectable. The trouble was
that the Muggeridges were not. Father was elected to the
Croydon Borough Council as a Labour member in 1911,
and remained on the Council until the nineteen thirties.
That was not bad enough - to have a nest of ‘socialists’ at
number 17 - but Mr. Muggeridge would erect a little
platform in Croydon market on Saturday evenings and
harangue the passers-by on the glories of socialism and
the coming great revolution.
We are led to believe a Lie
When we see not through the Eye.
Malcolm Muggeridge loved those two lines of
William Blake's, and often quoted them. For him, they
articulated the essential flaw of television: it did not see
through the eye, but through the camera. And, for him,
the camera could only reach the surface. He liked to feel
that his life - for all its eccentricity, frivolity and stagecraft - was dedicated to seeing things with the eye,
getting beneath the surface, exploring to the heart of the
matter. That is the traditional function of the prophet,
and it will be the thesis of this paper that that is exactly
what Muggeridge was - a prophet for the media age, a
prophet of the media age.
Young Malcolm drank it all in. His years at
undistinguished, but helped to polish his enthusiasm for
the socialist cause. He got to know various luminaries of
the left wing, including the formidable Webb family, and
cultivated an admiration for the social engineering that
was going on at that time in the Soviet Union under
Stalin. Interestingly, his university years also saw his
first encounter with Christianity, in a serious way, largely
through an anglo-catholic priest, Alec Vidler, who was to
remain a life-long friend. Indeed, as his biographer
Richard Ingrams shrewdly observes, far from ‘coming to
Christianity in old age’, it had been a ‘life-long
The historian Paul Johnson, reviewing the two
recent biographies of Muggeridge, has this to say about
Malcolm Muggeridge was sui generis. There
was no aspect of him - political commentator,
humorist, sage, religious maniac, TV star, selfpromoting all-purpose moralist, personal friend
- which fitted into any known category.
One’s tempted to say, with friends like that who
needs enemies? But yet it is that very elusiveness that
makes him both interesting and important. Few people
have hit the heights Muggeridge did, or in so many
spheres of achievement. He wrote one - but just one superb book of history, The Thirties. He wrote one good
novel, Affairs of the Heart, which no less a critic than
Evelyn Waugh described as a ‘clever and complete
achievement’. John Betjeman was even more impressed:
‘Muggeridge is a writer of stature . . . an artist in words, a
lover of the human race and what is essential and
sometimes forgotten, a man who knows how to be brief
and interesting’. He was a brilliant if erratic journalist, a
distinctive if not distinguished editor, an outstanding
public speaker and debater and - for the British public his
sole reason for fame - one of the most charismatic of
television performers. The trouble was that Malcolm
himself was never sure which of the seven or eight
careers open to him he wished to pursue, and in the event
he did all of them well, some of them very well, but
probably none of them as well as he might have done had
he been willing to give it his total commitment.
Vidler’s influence on young Muggeridge was
great. He took the step of confirmation in the Anglican
Church, and his student years ended with a spell in India
working in a mission school. But the religious phase
didn’t last very long - the temptations of the flesh and
problems over any kind of ‘dogmatic’ religious system
saw to that.
The politics of his childhood and adolescence
were not so readily set aside. It took a visit to Moscow to
exorcise the appeal of Soviet-style socialism. He went
there as a young reporter for the Manchester Guardian,
full of eager anticipation: he was about to see the
Promised Land. In the event, his disillusionment was
total and life-long.
On his first day in Moscow he watched the
crowds at Lenin’s Tomb, and was seized with the idea - a
prophetic insight, perhaps - that ‘one day an enraged mob
would tear him from his place and trample him
underfoot’. Red Square was ‘perfect’ but the sight of a
starving peasant vomiting over a piece of sausage
haunted him. Initially he countered these doubts - the
problems were temporary but also necessary if the great
Five Year Plan was to be carried out. But the awful truth
suggested little of this. He grew up in the heart of
suburban London. His father worked for a firm of shirt
manufacturers in the City, where he eventually became
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
and commoners, its laws and dossiers and
revenue and easily suppressed insurrection.
Circumstances shaped it, making it an image,
pure and undefiled, of the times. It was a mirror
held up to nature . . . Whatever was put in it
must either take on its texture or be expelled. . .
could not be denied. Not only were people literally
starving, but the regime itself was cruel and brutal. A
visit to the country away from Moscow confirmed
reports he had heard of widespread starvation and illtreatment of the peasant population. He wrote about it, in
some despair, to his erstwhile mentor in things socialist,
Beatrice Webb:
This, it should be remembered, was written in
the Golden Age of radio, when millions of people hung
on every news bulletin - and thirty five million (80 per
cent of the adult population of the United Kingdom)
would listen to a single comedy programme, ITMA.
Muggeridge was never afraid to choose big targets! Nor
had he finished with the BBC, by any means.
I want to explain that my feelings about Soviet
Russia are not based in a balancing of
achievement against failure, of profit and loss,
but an overwhelming conviction that the
Government and all it stands for, its crude
philosophy (religion if you like) is evil and a
denial of everything I care for in life . . . I’m
more sure than I’ve ever been sure of anything
in my life that this is bad and that it is based on
the most evil and cruel elements in human
The big change in Muggeridge’s career, at any
rate so far as the public were concerned, was his arrival
on the television screen. In 1952 he was appointed
Editor of Punch, which was then a mildly satirical
humorous weekly magazine, mostly read in dentists’
waiting rooms. This was a strange transition for the
deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, then as now the
very epitome of Fleet Street decorum.
Muggeridge proved an inspired choice and gave the old
magazine the injection of new ideas that it desperately
needed. It also put its Editor in the public eye, which
may be the reason that he was invited to take part as an
interviewer in a new and prestigious current affairs
programme being launched by the BBC. It was called
Panorama, and, following a one-off experiment in 1953
became a regular fixture the following year, with
Muggeridge as a resident interviewer. It is still going
strong, by a long way the BBC’s most durable
programme of political analysis, forty-two years later.
Indeed, on Monday it will again achieve world-wide
fame when a full-length, uncensored interview with
Princess Diana will blow the royal marriage scene back
into the headlines and onto TV screens literally all over
the world. As Muggeridge would have observed: “Those
who live by the media, perish by the media!”
Muggeridge came back from Russia with the
first contemporary reports of the true state of things
there, reports which caused consternation not only in
Moscow but among many Western journalists who had
been taken in by Soviet propaganda. Walter Duranty in
the New York Times denied that there was famine in
Russia and added: ‘There is no actual starvation or death
from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from
diseases due to malnutrition’. Orwell’s Big Brother
couldn’t have put it better!
The thirties, when Muggeridge struggled as a
writer and journalist, were also years of intense personal
turmoil. His marriage to Kitty, idyllic in many ways,
was under constant strain because of his indulgent lifestyle. After another spell in India he returned to London
to work for the Evening Standard, largely on its gossip
column, to review books, and try to write some of this
own. It was not until the war years, in 1940, that he was
to produce a literary work of real substance, and that was
his historical portrait of the thirties. Here his blend of the
sardonic and the wickedly observant finally achieved a
distinctive style, one which was to become the hall-mark
of Muggeridge’s writings for the rest of his life.
Again Muggeridge seemed a strange choice for
Panorama. He had no experience of television and
professed quite a dislike for it. He didn’t even own a TV
set. And he had one of the oldest accents ever to
decorate the British air-waves, a bizarre combination of
Oxbridge and south London. Each word emerged from
what seemed to be a tortuous genesis somewhere within
his buccal cavity, to be ejected into the ether like a
guided missile. Odd it certainly was, but is also proved a
media god-send. Malcolm was instantly recognisable.
His voice was easily mimicked. His elf-like features and
piercing eyes were designed for television. He was the
nearest thing to an instant success, and for those of us
slumped in front of the set each night he became a
familiar figure.
Although the BBC was one day to provide him
with national fame, The Thirties contained the kind of
lampoon of life within the BBC that surfaced again and
again in his later writings. He knew the inside of
Broadcasting House as a regular contributor to radio talk
The BBC came to pass silently, invisibly, like a
coral reef, cells briskly multiplying, until it was
a vast structure, a conglomeration of studios,
offices, cool passages along which many passed
to and fro; a society with its Kings and Lords
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
the world; that it represents the nearest to
ultimate truth that has ever been revealed to
mankind; that our civilization was born of it, is
irretrievably bound up with it and would almost
certainly perish without it.
He also rapidly became a highly controversial
one. A feature in Punch about the ageing Prime Minister
Winston Churchill, not only suggested that he was too
old for the job and should retire but illustrated it with a
cartoon depicting the great national hero as a tired,
ponderous figure, jaw sagging and his eyes vacant.
Needless to say there was public outrage. There was
even greater outrage when Muggeridge turned his fire on
the Royal family in a New Statesman article that was
reprinted in the Saturday Evening Post to coincide with a
royal visit to the USA. It ridiculed the kind of
obsequious coverage that was given at the time to the
Queen and her entourage. One has to say that fifty years
later it sounds quite mild! But it didn’t sound mild in
Muggeridge was accused of treasonable
behaviour: doubtless some would have sent him to the
Several of his friends broke off their
relationship with him. Fortunately he had just left
Punch, whose proprietors might have found this incident
a scandal too far.(see art. Incurring Royal Displeasure)
For a professed non-Christian, those were very
strong convictions, and they show that Muggeridge the
iconoclast, adulterer and heavy drinker was already
something of an Augustine figure (an analogy he would
have welcomed), praying, only half in jest, ‘Lord, make
me holy, but not yet!’
Of course, as we all know the prayer was
answered. Malcolm’s life-long interest in religion began
to become something of an obsession. Through the
second half of the sixties he pursued a highly
individualistic pilgrimage, now drawing nearer, now
drawing back. I think Ingrams catches rather well
Muggeridge’s attitude towards the Christian faith in the
late sixties: ‘Malcolm’s religious position by this time
was that of a Christian who had no commitment to any
particular Church. If he had any special leaning it was
towards Catholicism, but he had little sympathy for any
of the trappings (confession, the rosary, the intercession
of Saints).In his correspondence with Mother Teresa
....Malcolm continued to harp on the imperfections of the
Church and the dangers of the ecumenical movement.’
But the Churchill and royal stories made
Muggeridge a household name. He was the man who
had had the nerve to criticise two of the greatest national
icons - indeed, the two greatest ones. And his reputation,
far from scaring off subjects for his television interviews,
seemed to ensure that nobody refused. Among those he
interviewed in Panorama were Eleanor Roosevelt,
Svetlana Stalin, Elsa Maxwell, the playwright Brendan
Behan, Billy Graham and, of course, Mother Teresa.
Some of this paradox can be seen in his
fascinating book Jesus Rediscovered, published in 1969.
I remember reading it with some bewilderment at the
time. It was good to find this public figure, so long the
cynic of the screen, ‘rediscovering’ Jesus, and there was
no doubt about the spell which the Son of Man held for
him. But there was still the ‘drawing back’ - a deep
reluctance to see Christianity makes truth claims, grave
doubts over major areas of Christian belief like the
divinity of Christ, and one passage of quite explicit
rejection of the very idea of receiving the ‘body and
blood’ of Christ in the Eucharist. Yet the pilgrimage had
begun and it was real.
During the years at Punch he also constantly
revealed the two motifs that were to run like continuous
threads through his life. One was his scepticism about
the very medium that had made him famous. He simply
refused to take television seriously. The other was a
fascination with Christianity, which dogged him even in
his most dissolute years. They came together for a
moment on the day when he interviewed Billy Graham
for Panorama - in fact, Muggeridge’s first on the
programme. When Graham replied to one question by
saying ‘Only God could answer that one’, Muggeridge
came back with: ‘And we haven’t got him in the studio
(casting his eyes heavenwards) - or have we?’
A number of factors were fuelling that journey
into faith. One of his sons was an evangelical Christian,
and Malcolm admired his single-minded commitment.
There was the influence of Mother Teresa, with whom he
had made a series of epoch-making films which in 1971
became a memorable book, Something Beautiful for God.
But probably as much as anything else there was the
gradual realisation that our society was, of itself, totally
bankrupt. Just as Muggeridge had rejected the Utopia of
the Soviet system, so slowly he came to see that the
capitalist system was equally corrupt and corrupting.
Without the Christian faith which gave it meaning and
values, Western society was drifting into a mindless
The same paradox had been shown in an
astonishing letter which Muggeridge had written to the
Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Fisher had complained
about a frivolous article in Punch which he felt had
mocked the Communion services. Muggeridge replied as
I am, alas, not myself a believing Christian. I
wish I were. But one thing I can say with the
utmost sincerity, and that is that I grow ever
more convinced that the Christian gospel was
the most wonderful thing that ever happened to
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
For Malcolm, by this time, television was
nothing but a distorting mirror, a harlot who promised
much and delivered little. Rather than succumb to her
wiles we should ‘disconnect our aerials’. We had lost
our grip of reality, trapped in a massive and misleading
Fun Factory,, a Theatre of the Absurd. He went further,
imagining a ‘fourth temptation’ of Christ, to use
television to promote his message. Jesus would have
rejected it, as he did the others, on the grounds that
television deals with fantasy, and his message was about
reality. In one moment of inspired prophetic insight,
Malcolm envisaged a future world in which people no
longer met each other, or talked to each other, but
communicated solely through the television screen. And
that was well before the arrival of e-mail, and the whole
notion of ‘surfing the internet’, and idea which would
certainly have merited his favourite adjective: bizarre.
And Muggeridge knew all about hedonism! He
had sated his appetites at that particular well for many
years. But as he turned - perhaps belatedly - from a lifestyle marked by sexual and alcoholic excess, his mind
seemed to clear, the sharp eyes saw truths that had been
misty and elusive hitherto. A new Muggeridge was
being born - the prophet of the media age.
Typically, he identified the media as prime
villains in what he saw as the down-grading of society’s
moral values. People at the BBC were shocked to find
that the poacher they had known so well had turned into
a thoroughly tiresome game-keeper.
From his
association with the ‘Festival of Lights’ in 1971 - a
public campaign to restore standards to public life and
especially the media - to his support for the opponents of
abortion, euthanasia and pornography he had quite
dramatically changed sides. As one unkind broadcaster
put it, ‘Malcolm spent his life burning the candle at both
ends, and now he’s running round blowing everybody
else’s candle out.’
In 1971 Muggeridge’s root and branch
denunciation of television did seem a rather pessimistic
judgment. Now, I am not so sure. Isn’t most television
today throughout the western world marked by an
obsession with trivia, game shows, formula ‘drama’, soap
operas - and gossip masquerading as news? The Bible
tells us that the test of a prophet is very simple: do his
words come true? Time and again, one has to say, the
gloomiest forebodings of the Prophet of Robertsbridge
have proved to be truly prophetic. Television can’t be
‘dis-invented’: he knew that, of course. But - rather like
alcohol - we might feel that if we had known before it
was discovered what evils were hidden in that Pandora’s
Box, then we would have left it well alone.
His criticism of television was trenchant, and all
the more telling because it was a medium he knew so
well. I remember sitting in the front row of All Souls
Church, in the West End of London, right next to
Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC, to
hear a series of lectures by Malcolm Muggeridge on
‘Christ and the Media’ - they were later published as a
book under that title. Around me sat many of my senior
colleagues at the BBC - programme controllers,
managing directors, heads of production and so on. It
was quite a painful experience as Malcolm shredded all
we did and all we stood for through the flailing rotary
glades of his eloquence. Knowing his audience as I did, I
confess it was hard to see these earnest men and women
as agents of the Evil Kingdom. I suspect Malcolm would
have seen us more as dupes than rogues. Be that as it
may, we all recognised many palpable hits. It was a tour
de force.
On the other hand, if we had disconnected our
aerials, we would not have seen Something Beautiful for
God, or Malcolm’s television series with Alec Vidler, ‘In
the Steps of St. Paul’. We would not today, on the BBC
channels which he lambasted, have 17% of the entire
adult population watching ‘Songs of Praise’ every week Christian worship and testimony reaching nine million
people every Sunday evening. Nor would we have had
25% of the population watching Jane Austen’s ‘Pride
and Prejudice’ in the Autumn schedules. Not all
television, either in Europe or the USA, is uniformly bad.
I think Muggeridge knew, in his heart of hearts, that a
medium is just that - a means, not an end. It is what we
do with television, how we use it, whether it is our
master or our servant, that determines whether it is good
or evil. That’s why the prophetic voice of Muggeridge,
preserved now in these important archives and available
to scholars all over the world, must not be silenced. He
will help us to see truth ‘through the eye’. He will
encourage us to make television a servant of the good,
not an agent of the trivial. He will help us to bridle its
excesses and use it in the cause of whatever is true,
beautiful, praise-worthy and good.
The lectures had been organised and were
chaired by John Stott, then the Rector of All Souls, and I
took the opportunity later to remonstrate with him about
what I considered to be Muggeridge’s simplistic and
immoderate outburst.
His reply was illuminating.
‘Malcolm is a prophet,’ he said, ‘and prophets are not
moderate. It’s their task to speak the word, not to
calculate its consequences.’ It changed my perception of
Malcolm Muggeridge, I have to say - though I still had
grave misgivings about his (as I then saw it) jaundiced
view of the media and their role in British society. I felt
that he was imitating the practice of the ancient world,
and killing the messenger, when his real objection was to
the message.
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
And the second, a certainty
surpassing all words and thoughts, that as an
infinitesimal particle of God’s creation, I am a
participant in his purposes, which are loving and
not malign, creative and not destructive, orderly
and not chaotic, universal and not particular.
And in that certainty, a great peace and a great
And one last thought. The collection of
Muggeridge papers kept at Wheaton College keeps for us
the voice of a craftsman of the English language and a
Christian voice which speaks with all the more splendour
because it was born from the seed-bed of doubt, cynicism
and self-indulgence. At about the time of his admission
into the Roman Catholic Church, towards the end of
November 1982, when he was 79, Muggeridge wrote this
reflection on the onset of old age. It deserves to stand
among the classic texts of Christian devotion:
Thank you, Malcolm!
I often wake up in the night and feel myself in
some curious way, half in and half out of my
body, so that I seem to be hovering between the
battered old carcass that I can see between the
sheets and seeing in the darkness and in the
distance a glow in the sky, the lights of
Augustine’s City of God. In that condition,
when it seems just a toss-up whether I return
into my body to live out another day, or make
off, there are two particular conclusions, two
extraordinarily sharp impressions that come to
me. The first is of the incredible beauty of our
earth - its colours and shapes, its smells and its
features; of the enchantment of human love and
companionship, and of the blessed fulfillment
provided by human work and human
First delivered as a dedicatory address at the
opening of the Malcolm Muggeridge Special
Collection at Wheaton College.
David Winter is Canon Emeritus of Christ Church
Cathedral, Oxford and a former Head of Religious
Broadcasting at the British Broadcasting
He has written extensively on religious subjects and
has many published books.
A Bibliography for those interested in further reading about the Ukraine famine.
(See David Malone’s article on Page 6.)
Ammende, Ewald. Human life in Russia. Zubal, 1984.
Atkinson, Dorothy. The end of the Russian land commune, 1905-1930. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1983.
Carynnyk, Marcos. Stalin’s famine in Ukraine (an interview with Malcolm Muggeridge). Online. Available:
Century of genocide: eyewitness accounts and critical views. Garland Pub., 1997.
Conquest, Robert. The harvest of sorrow: Soviet collectivization and the terror-famine. Oxford University Press, 1986.
Courtois, Stephane. The black book of Communism: crimes, terror, repression. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.
Famine in Ukraine, 1932-1933. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, 1986.
Harvest of despair: the unknown holocaust. Chicago: International Historic Films, 1988.
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Chronicles of Wasted Time: The Green Stick. New York: Wm. Morrow, 1973.
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Picture Palace. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Unpublished diaries. Wheaton College Special Collections, Wheaton, IL 60187.
Muggeridge, Malcolm. Winter in Moscow. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987.
Wolfe, Gregory. Malcolm Muggeridge: a biography. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
_______________________________The Gargoyle______________________________________________________
The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
If you have enjoyed reading The Gargoyle and have not yet joined the Society, we would invite
you to do so now. Formed on the 100th anniversary of Malcolm Muggeridge’s birth, the Society seeks
to provide a focus for all worldwide who have a continuing interest in his life as journalist, author,
broadcaster, soldier-spy and Christian apologist.
The aims of the Society are:
¾ To provide a source of information for those interested in researching his life and
¾ To keep his writings in print and encourage the publication of new critiques and
scholarship and to provide a forum internationally for admirers to meet and
discuss Muggeridge’s work.
¾ To publish a regular newsletter or magazine, and to encourage republication of
his books and publication of unpublished material.
¾ To maintain a relationship with those media organisations (e.g. the BBC) who
hold extensive archive material worthy of preservation and re-broadcast.
¾ To provide and encourage linkage with other societies and associations where
mutual interest exists (e.g. PG Wodehouse Society, GK Chesterton Society,
CS Lewis Society, Ukraine Society etc)
¾ To increase awareness of the papers, writings and memorabilia held in the
Malcolm Muggeridge Collection at Wheaton College, Illinois.
¾ To provide a web presence with linkages and a sharing of information.
¾ To organise periodical social and literary events.
The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
Membership Fee: £10.00 (US$20.00*)
(*includes exchange and negotiation charges)
Make Cheque Payable to: The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
Payment may also be made electronically through Paypal on
The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
Pilgrim’s Cottage
Pike Road, Eythorne
Dover, KENT
Tel: +44 (0)1304 831964
Address: The Gargoyle, The Malcolm Muggeridge Society, Pilgrim’s Cottage, Pike Road, Eythorne, Kent, CT15 4DJ, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 1304 831964,, e-mail to: [email protected],
The Malcolm Muggeridge Society
President: Sally Muggeridge, Patrons: Lord Black of Crossharbour, Sir David Frost, William F. Buckley Jr., Richard Ingrams,
Treasurer and Editor: David Williams
The Malcolm Muggeridge Archives & Special Collection: Wheaton College, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593, USA

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