An Offer of Twenty-Five Million
IN JULY, THE NEW YORK WORLD wanted me to go back into Russia on a special assignment. There was a similar offer from the King Features Syndicate. My answer to both was that honest reporting in the U.S.S.R., always difficult, had become practically impossible with Stalin's rise to power. For over a year now, news work in Russia had deteriorated steadily, reaching a point where foreign correspondents had to toe the line like the humblest of their Soviet brethren. The time was gone when a foreign reporter in Moscow could bargain with the Press Bureau, appeal to Chicherin, or squeeze in a carefully veiled lead.
I had a hard time making up my mind about those offers. During the previous eight years I had become attached to my native land, acquiring many dear friends, the mere thought of whom made me yearn to get back. Still, I decided to have no more truck with censorship, fond as I was of its chief victim-- Podolsky--who perished in 1937 in the Great Purge.
Having given up Soviet journalism, there remained but two ways for me to return to Russia--either on business or on an assignment by some law firm dealing with the Soviets. Failing