Item description for Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life by Ian Hunter...
This biography of Malcolm Muggeridge traces the varied life of one of the most brilliant and controversial men of the twentieth century. The author, Ian Hunter, was given full access to all of Muggeridge's unpublished material, letters, and diaries. The result is an objective, well-researched, and honest account that is sometimes at variance with Muggeridge's own recollection of events. Ian Hunter captures the humor, the intellect, the rawness of perception, the abandoned honesty of a man engaged in knowing himself, his world, and his God. Malcolm Muggeridge was not merely a "vendor of words," as he invariably described himself, but was also a celebrated author, broadcaster, lecturer, debater, traveller, journalist and television personality, a one-time ardent admirer of the Soviet system, a World War II intelligence agent, and a former agnostic turned committed Christian. To many people, however, Malcolm Muggeridge was admired above all for his superb use of the English language. It is to the credit of Ian Hunter that after reading this biography one has a clearer understanding of an extraordinary man. Dr. Ian Hunter is professor emeritus at the University of Western Ontario. His articles and reviews have appeared in many Canadian and American poublications. He edited two collections of Muggeridge's writings: Things Past and The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge; he also wrote a biography of Muggeridge's friend, Hesketh Pearson (Nothing to Repent: The Life of Heskerth Pearson).
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Studio: Regent College Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.18" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.72" Weight: 0.96 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2003
Publisher Regent College Publishing
ISBN 1573832596 ISBN13 9781573832595
Availability 64 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 23, 2017 10:21.
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More About Ian Hunter
Dr. Ian Hunter has worked as a university professor and grader for 20 years. Ian has written over 50 publications, including books, articles, and teaching cases. Dr. Hunter has helped thousands of students with their essay writing, not only through teaching but also with presentations and workshops in over 50 schools.
Reviews - What do customers think about Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life?
A man at right turns to convention. Nov 2, 2005
The first reviewer has analyzed the strengths of this biography quite astutely: I also found Hunter's engaged, questioning, opinionated style appropriate to the man analyzed, and lively, besides. Muggeridge has lived on all six inhabited continents, "outed" Joseph Stalin, a German spy, and Mother Theresa for what they (respectively) were, interviewed Khrushchev and De Gaul, and found Jesus. This is not just the story of a man, it is the story of a century.
Muggeridge seemed born to coach, but took a lifetime to learn how to play. A moralist who freely cheated on his wife, a critic of power with no practical solution to its exercise, and used his own powers mostly for demolition, an ally in the Culture of Life who savored the thought of his own death, it would be easy to simply call Muggeridge a hypocrite and have done with it. But while Hunter reveals his subject's flaws, it is hard to dislike the man, overlook his enormous talent with words, or downplay the great good he did by seeking truth, and finding more and more of it. I think of his friend George Orwell as a "blind prophet." Muggeridge similarly was much more skilled at smelling out lies than at affirming truth. He seemed to take equal joy in "dissing" vulgar American culture, the queen, or frivolous college students, as Soviet mass murder or South African apartheid. It's nice to see an old bloke have so much fun. And usually, he was right.
One odd note: Hunter credits Muggeridge's friendship with bishop Alec Vidler for (probably) helping bring Muggeridge to faith in Christ. It is this same cleric whose modernist approach to the Gospels inspired C. S. Lewis' brilliant repost to critical New Testament scholarship, Fernseed and Elephants. (Which, as I show in my book, Why the Jesus Seminar can't find Jesus, and Grandma Marshall Could, continues to upturn the arguments of Jesus skeptics.) So whatever Vidler believed, he inspired two influential English Christians to good deeds in exactly opposite ways. Clever, these Anglican priests.
Malcom, We Hardly Knew Ye Jan 24, 2005
The few biographies I've read seem to be of two sorts. The first sort retreads all the old ground of the life of what-his-name: blah blah blah, and then subjects the dry-as-dust "facts" to some sort of psychological analysis to liven them up. Absolutely to be avoided. In the second sort, the author engages the subject as Jacob wrestled with the angel: as does a real life, it seems not a finished product, but a work in progress. To this second class Ian Hunter's bio of Malcom Muggeridge happily belongs. The author is just as passionate, maverick, and opinionated as his subject. "A life" is an apt subtitle, for in this book Muggers, as his pals called him, comes alive.
Hunter makes the keen observation that MM is perceived differently in his homeland of England than on the other side of the Atlantic, and this book, originally published in Britain, rounds out a lot for the American reader. Here is the straight scoop on three occasions in the life of MM that most people only know in rumours: his repatriating of humor writer P.G. Wodehouse, who was then being called a traitor in the British press; his reporting of the deliberately induced famine in Russia under Stalin, for which he was called a liar in the American press (Walter Duranty reported in the New York Times that there was no famine, so eager was he that the Russian experiment succeed); and his so-called mocking of the Queen, for which he was kicked off the BBC and done down by his enemies in the British press (Hunter reveals he actually made a positive comment about the queen).
Hunter writes from both personal acquaintance with Muggeridge and an easy familiarity with his writings, so that it's not always easy to tell when his paraphrases of Malcom's ideas leave off and Hunter's take over. But while that's a flaw in the first type of biography, it's really a boon in the second type. How to contain the dynamo that is Malcom Muggeridge? Thankfully, Hunter doesn't try, instead letting his subject roam restlessly through the pages, the dynamo churning through the prose. This book seems the tip of the iceberg, and in that sense does what all good bios do: sends its readers to its subject, hungering for more.