Malcolm Muggeridge

From Metapedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge (Croydon, England 24 March 1903–14 November 1990) was an English journalist, author and satirist. During World War II, he was a soldier and a spy. Initially attracted to communism, Muggeridge visited the Soviet Union in 1932 only to find out about Holodomor in the Ukraine. He was one of the first Western journalists to report honestly about it, though the pro-Marxist intelligencia attempted to censor him, he resorted to writing the novel, Winter In Moscow.

A prominent atheist for most of his life, Muggeridge turned to Christianity in 1969 which surprised many in the United Kingdom at the time. He later converted to the Catholic Church in 1982, largely due to the influence of Mother Teresa whom he helped to popularise in the Western world by writing Something Beautiful for God.



His father, H.T. Muggeridge, was the Member of Parliament for Romford in Ramsay MacDonald's second Labour government. Malcolm attended Selwyn College, Cambridge for four years, graduating in 1924 with a pass degree in natural sciences. In Egypt he met Arthur Ransome who was visiting Egypt as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian. Mr Ransome recommended Muggeridge to the editors of the Guardian and he was employed as a journalist for the first time.


Initially attracted by Communism, Muggeridge and his wife travelled to Moscow in 1932, to be a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian. Increasingly disillusioned by communism, Muggeridge decided to investigate reports of the famine in the Ukraine, travelling there and to the Caucasus without the permission of the Soviet authorities. Reports he sent back to the Manchester Guardian in the diplomatic bag, thus evading censorship, were not fully printed and were not published under Muggeridge's name. At the same time, rival journalist Gareth Jones who had met Muggeridge in Moscow, published his own stories confirming the extent of the famine. Writing in the New York Times, Walter Duranty denied the existence of any famine. Gareth Jones wrote letters to the Manchester Guardian in support of Muggeridge's articles about the famine.

Muggeridge turned back to novel-writing, starting Winter In Moscow (1934), describing conditions in the 'socialist utopia' and satirizing Western journalists who were propagandists for the Stalin regime. He was to later call Duranty "the greatest liar I have met in journalism."

In November 2008, on the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor, both Muggeridge and Jones were posthumously awarded the Ukrainian Order of Freedom to mark their exceptional services to the country and its people.

World War II

During the war he was part of the British Secret Intelligence Service operation in Brussels which was headed by Richard Barclay. Muggeridge's attempt to claim credit for dismantling the German spy network in Antwerp, in which his critics said he played no part, provoked furious protests from those involved (Richard Gatty and Charles Arnold-Baker) to Barclay.

Post-war period

Muggeridge worked on other papers, including the Calcutta Statesman, Evening Standard, and Daily Telegraph. He was editor of the magazine, Punch from 1953 to 1957, a challenging appointment for one who claimed to have no sense of humour.

Muggeridge was a controversial figure - known as a drinker, heavy smoker and fornicator. However, some of his best work came as a result of finding faith late in life


  • Three flats: a play in three acts, (1931)
  • Winter In Moscow, (1934)
  • Picture Palace, (1934, 1987) ISBN 0-297-79039-0
  • The Earnest Atheist. A study of Samuel Butler, London : Eyre & Spottiswoode, (1936)
  • The Thirties, 1930-1940, in Great Britain, (1940, 1989)
  • Affairs of the heart, (1949)
  • How can you Bear to be Human, (1957) by Nicholas Bentley (Muggeridge wrote the introduction)
  • Tread softly for you tread on my jokes, (1966)
  • Jesus Rediscovered, (1969)
  • Something Beautiful for God, (1971)
  • Paul, envoy extraordinary, (1972) with Alec Vidler,
  • Chronicles of Wasted Time: An Autobiography, (1972,2006)
  • Jesus, the man who lives, (1975)
  • Jesus: The Man Who Lives, (1976)
  • A Third Testament: A Modern Pilgrim Explores the Spiritual Wanderings of Augustine, Blake, Pascal, Tolstoy, Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, and Dostoevsky, (1976, 2002) Full text online.
  • Christ and the Media, (1977)
  • In a valley of this restless mind, (1978)
  • The End of Christendom, (1980)
  • Like it was: The diaries of Malcolm Muggeridge, (1981)
  • Conversion: The Spiritual Journey of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim, (1988,2005)
  • Chronicles of Wasted Time: volumes I & II including 'The Right Eye', (2006}

See also

External links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
Personal tools