The Soviet Power

By Hewlett Johnson
FOR many years the Soviet Union has represented a kind of escapism, comparable in attraction with the Balearic Islands (before the unpleasantnesses of the Spanish civil war), the South Seas, Bahaism and other exotic cults. Your Soviet escapist, to be sure, did not become a permanent resident of Moscow. He (or she) went there, as a general rule, totally ignorant of the Russian language, Russian history, or anything that would have served as a useful introduction to Soviet conditions, went on heavily chaperoned tours, saw through the eyes of Soviet guides, admired — and wrote an ecstatic book. This is the formula which Dr. Hewlett Johnson has faithfully followed; a touch of piquancy is added because the author is Dean of Canterbury, and extreme left-wing politics and economics are not a usual characteristic of high dignitaries of the Church of England. To criticize Dr. Johnson within brief compass would be quite impossible; one would have to write a book of corresponding length to point out all the misstatements and fallacies which the good Dean accepted from his Soviet hosts and passes on to his readers with naive faith.