Mr. Jones (and the Execrable Walter Duranty)

(Don Boudreaux)

How can I have spent 43 years immersed in the literature of liberalism and have never heard, until just a few days ago, of the heroic Gareth Jones? Jones (1905-1935) is the man who exposed the lies that New York Times reporter – and Pulitzer Prize-winner – Walter Duranty spewed to cover-up the Ukrainian mass murder carried out in the 1930s by Stalin.

A few days ago I watched the 2019 movie Mr. Jones. It is spectacular, if deeply grim – grim as it must be to tell the terrible truth that it tells.

Here’s the final paragraph of Kyle Smith’s review of this remarkable film:

Back in Moscow, Duranty shrugs at all this: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” he says, speaking for all of the genocidal murderers who viewed people as brunch. Duranty really did publish this grotesque cliche (already in common use at the time) in the March 31, 1933, edition of the Times. He and Mr. Jones faced two very different fates after the events depicted in this film; one of them was murdered in 1935 and the other died in Orlando, Fla., at a ripe old age. You can probably guess which is which. To this day, Mr. Jones is all but unknown and his courage is unsung by his inky heirs, whereas Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize remains on the books even after a thousand other things have been canceled. Meanwhile, Mr. Jones joins the unconscionably brief list of brutally honest films about Communism.

And here’s David Boaz.

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