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Ilya Ehrenburg

An Idealist in an Age of Realism

Prof. Julian L. Laychuk

The cosmopolitan Soviet writer and journalist Ilya Ehrenburg represented something of an enigma for readers and critics not only in the West, but also in the Soviet Union. As an écrivain engagé, he was, during his lengthy literary career spanning some six decades of this turbulent century, deeply involved through his writings, pronouncements, and activities in many of the events that have shaped our world. Despite the many unpredictable developments in the realm of international affairs over the years, which found reflection in his prolific writings, and the vagaries of his own literary career, he revealed an ingrained strain of idealism - expressed in terms of a commitment to reason, tolerance, and understanding - which, because of the ever-changing demands and realities of the times, he could not always openly display.
Contents: Life and works of Ilya Ehrenburg, Soviet writer and public figure in a changing world: Great War pacifism; ambiguity toward the Russian (October) Revolution; anti-fascist campaigner; fiery journalist; liberal.