As this year marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution I’m astonished by the ubiquitous uncritical flirtation with this brand of totalitarianism, the body count far exceeding that of even the Nazis. As someone who has read Darkness at Noon several times, a book given to me by someone who used to have sympathies, Michael Scammell makes the strongest of cases for a new translation. With this in mind, if ever the time was ripe to reach a new audience, it is now. Check out Noel Malcolm’s review of Michael Scammell’s new biography of Koestler, an attempt to rehabilitate Koestler’s tarnished reputation.
Is being morally blinded by egotism worse than being politically blinded by dogma? Fortunately, we are not required to make that choice; we can just observe the opposite extremes in this one person. Certainly, when Koestler did see clearly, he was capable of unerring precision.