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Back in print for the first time since Muggeridge's death in 1990, both published volumes of his acclaimed biography-The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove, plus the previously unpublished start to an unfinished third volume entitled The Right Eye-all brought together in one unabridged volume. Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge started his career as a university lecturer in C Back in print for the first time since Muggeridge's death in 1990, both published volumes of his acclaimed biography-The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove, plus the previously unpublished start to an unfinished third volume entitled The Right Eye-all brought together in one unabridged volume. Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge started his career as a university lecturer in Cairo before taking up journalism. As a journalist he worked around the world on the Guardian, Calcutta Statesman, the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph. In 1953 became editor of Punch, where he remained for four years. In later years he became best known as a broadcaster both on television and radio for the BBC. His other books include Jesus Rediscovered, Christ and the Media, and A Third Testament.


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Back in print for the first time since Muggeridge's death in 1990, both published volumes of his acclaimed biography-The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove, plus the previously unpublished start to an unfinished third volume entitled The Right Eye-all brought together in one unabridged volume. Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge started his career as a university lecturer in C Back in print for the first time since Muggeridge's death in 1990, both published volumes of his acclaimed biography-The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove, plus the previously unpublished start to an unfinished third volume entitled The Right Eye-all brought together in one unabridged volume. Born in 1903, Malcolm Muggeridge started his career as a university lecturer in Cairo before taking up journalism. As a journalist he worked around the world on the Guardian, Calcutta Statesman, the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph. In 1953 became editor of Punch, where he remained for four years. In later years he became best known as a broadcaster both on television and radio for the BBC. His other books include Jesus Rediscovered, Christ and the Media, and A Third Testament.

30 review for Chronicles of Wasted Time

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ah Poozi

    Quite possibly the greatest journalist of the 20th century (it’s a toss up with GKC), Muggeridge writes exciting and hilarious anecdotes with a prose that is nearly poetic. But you should probably have an interest in politics if you are going to read this book. The first volume is titled "The Green Stick," based on Tolstoy's belief that a green stick is buried somewhere that, if discovered and read, it "would destroy all the evil in the hearts of men and bring them everything good." Muggeridge h Quite possibly the greatest journalist of the 20th century (it’s a toss up with GKC), Muggeridge writes exciting and hilarious anecdotes with a prose that is nearly poetic. But you should probably have an interest in politics if you are going to read this book. The first volume is titled "The Green Stick," based on Tolstoy's belief that a green stick is buried somewhere that, if discovered and read, it "would destroy all the evil in the hearts of men and bring them everything good." Muggeridge held leftist views until he moved to Russia during the reign of Stalin, where his ideology slowly transformed. "...Freud and Marx... undermined the whole basis of Western European civilisation as no avowedly insurrectionary movement ever has or could, by promoting the notion of determinism, in the one case in morals, in the other in history, thereby relieving individual men and women of all responsibility for their personal and collective behaviour." Muggeridge's departure from Marxist ideology seems to coincide with a slow conversion towards the Judeo-Christian worldview. "To accept this world as a destination rather than a staging-post, and the experience of living in it as expressing life's full significance, would seem to me to reduce life to something too banal and trivial to be taken seriously or held in esteem. The only thing that could make me falter in taking a position of extreme, if not demented, optimism about our human condition and prospects would be if one of the prospectuses for an earthly paradise... looked like providing a satisfying or fulfilled way of life. On this score I see no cause for present anxiety." "...from Adam's point of view, the apple came as a blessed deliverance; the Fall was mankind's first step to heaven, and it is interesting that all the Devil's advocates, from Epicurus to Rousseau, Walt Whitman, Marx and DH Lawrence, want to abolish it and regain an earthly paradise." During his time in Russia, MM writes about a little abandoned church he finds in the woods... "[I felt] that I belonged to the little disused church... and that the Kremlin with its scarlet flag and dark towers and golden spires was an alien kingdom. A kingdom of power such as the Devil had in his gift, and offered to Christ, to be declined by him in favour of the kingdom of love. I, too, must decline it, and live in the kingdom of love. This was another moment of perfect clarification, when everything fitted together in sublime symmetry; when I saw clearly the light and the darkness, freedom and servitude, the bright vistas of eternity and the prison bars of time... at the back where the altar had been there was still the faint outline of a cross to be seen... In its survival I read the promise that somehow this image of enlightenment through suffering, this assertion of the everlasting supremacy of the gospel of love over the gospel of power, would never be obliterated, however dimly and obscurely traced now, and however seemingly triumphant the forces opposed to it might seem to be." "Coming back to London... everything looked different to me; especially the assumption on which I had live from my earliest years, that such and such changes, brought about peacefully through the ballot-box, or drastically through some sort of revolutionary process, would transform human life; making it brotherly, prosperous and just, instead of, as it had always been, and still was for most people, full of poverty, exploitation and conflict. I no longer believed this, nor ever would again. The essential quality of our lives, as I now understood, was a factor, not so much of how we lived, but of why we lived. It was our values, not our production processes, or our laws, or our social relationships, that governed our existence." When Muggeridge wrote 'Winter in Moscow,' exposing the truths of the Soviet regime, most disregarded it and continued to believe in communism and Stalin. He comes to the conclusion that, "people, after all, believe lies, not because they are plausibly presented, but because they want to believe them." Muggeridge also writes about his time as a journalist in India during the British Raj and as a secret service agent during WWII. It is a shame he did not complete the third volume, but we must be thankful for what we have.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    Possibly the greatest English autobiography of the 20th century. Even though he didn't manage to finish it. Even though he shaved the truth in spots. One of the handful of books which, after finishing it, had made my sides literally sore with laughing (the first time that happened was in my teens with "Don Quixote"). Possibly the greatest English autobiography of the 20th century. Even though he didn't manage to finish it. Even though he shaved the truth in spots. One of the handful of books which, after finishing it, had made my sides literally sore with laughing (the first time that happened was in my teens with "Don Quixote").

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abu Dhabi

    Read the first volume (The Green Stick). Overall, most of the book I've found boring. Much of it is the tame writing style of the author, another is the subject matter. The final chapter, on the USSR, is by far the most interesting. Otherwise, there are a few brilliant paragraphs peppered throughout. Read the first volume (The Green Stick). Overall, most of the book I've found boring. Much of it is the tame writing style of the author, another is the subject matter. The final chapter, on the USSR, is by far the most interesting. Otherwise, there are a few brilliant paragraphs peppered throughout.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clint Lum

    I just could not get into this. I do think this is a fault of my own and not the author’s as his prose is magnificent and certainly led an interesting life. Also, I appreciate his candor in revealing his shortcomings and the shortcomings of what he experienced in communism as a whole—certainly applicable to our times today. Perhaps I will return to this in the future with fresh eyes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Krystie Herndon

    This book was--okay. Well-written true, but the author displayed so honestly not only his own warts, but also those of the myriad cast of characters of his variegated career, that the only people I ended up truly admiring--Muggeridge's wife, Kitty, and their four children--were the ones he told the least about. Someone should write a book about Kitty Dobbs Muggeridge--she must have been a saint. This book was--okay. Well-written true, but the author displayed so honestly not only his own warts, but also those of the myriad cast of characters of his variegated career, that the only people I ended up truly admiring--Muggeridge's wife, Kitty, and their four children--were the ones he told the least about. Someone should write a book about Kitty Dobbs Muggeridge--she must have been a saint.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J.R. Rogers

    "One of the greatest autobiographies of our time." "One of the greatest autobiographies of our time."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Martinez Claudio

    Excellent witness of his age. Witty and thoughtful. And critic to himself

  8. 4 out of 5

    sholom ber nemanov

    Still not sure what it was I read when it was all over, but it was a beautiful and haunting journey all the while.

  9. 5 out of 5

    N. N.

    The Slate Star Codex review makes this book sound a lot more interesting than it is.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Browne

    An absolutely must read for anyone who wants to understand the twentieth century. Brilliant insights written with superb style.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chris Cangiano

    The collected version of Malcolm Muggeridge's memoirs, The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove (along with the posthumously published snippet from the start of his third volume The Right Eye) form a wonderful encapsulation of the major events of the Twentieth Century. Muggeridge was there for it all and he tells it with just the right amount of detail and a devastating wit (some of the sections were laugh out loud funny). It is also a sort of pilgrim's progress from naivety to worldly experience. The collected version of Malcolm Muggeridge's memoirs, The Green Stick and The Infernal Grove (along with the posthumously published snippet from the start of his third volume The Right Eye) form a wonderful encapsulation of the major events of the Twentieth Century. Muggeridge was there for it all and he tells it with just the right amount of detail and a devastating wit (some of the sections were laugh out loud funny). It is also a sort of pilgrim's progress from naivety to worldly experience. The son of a dyed in the wool British socialist his time in Russia under the Stalinist purges and his genocidal enforced famines cured him of any belief in the Utopias promised by the Left. While his own innate skepticism and cynicism exempted him from easy Right Wing Nationalism. His experiences with Socialism as a young man, life under the Raj; life in the Second World War as a soldier and spy all make this a fascinating read for those interested in the evolution of events in the Twentieth Century (also he knew and offers opinions about just about everyone Bernard Shaw, Graham Greene, Kim Philby, PG Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, DeGaulle, Churchill, Montgomery, Atlee, the list goes on - he is quite the name-dropper). I'd add another half-star and highly recommend it to anyone interested in the period.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David

    At the end, was tempted to give it four stars, but I enjoyed it so much along the way that five stars seemed right. Apparently Muggeridge intended to write another volume to complete the story of his life, but wasn't to be. This ends at the end of World War II. I'd have liked that third volume to see how he completed his immersion in Christianity. Am now reading a couple of his "religious" books written about the same time as this memoir . . . as one might expect, lots of consistency. While much o At the end, was tempted to give it four stars, but I enjoyed it so much along the way that five stars seemed right. Apparently Muggeridge intended to write another volume to complete the story of his life, but wasn't to be. This ends at the end of World War II. I'd have liked that third volume to see how he completed his immersion in Christianity. Am now reading a couple of his "religious" books written about the same time as this memoir . . . as one might expect, lots of consistency. While much of the story of Muggeridge's life is interesting, and his reflections on his life and way-of-life are candid and self-deprecating, some of what I enjoyed most were comments on civiilization and society and what he sees as the dangerous ascent of the "ego." Of course, that's really nothing new . . . as he says here and in "A Third Testament," the battles between the will and the spirit (imagination) are ongoing and ebb and flow. This isn't turning out to be a very useful review . . . sorry . . . rushed now . . . may return to this later.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This book was very long and he can spend an inordinate amount of time on little details. However, I really liked this book , Malcolm has that rare ability to see clearly when the majority disagree with him. Watching him change his beliefs through his life was fascinating.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Called one of the best autobiographies of the 20th century.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Uhuru

    I found this book mildly engaging, although not a "must read." Some interesting stories and reflections, but on the whole it just was not that interesting. I found this book mildly engaging, although not a "must read." Some interesting stories and reflections, but on the whole it just was not that interesting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rich Dailey

  17. 4 out of 5

    Parker

  18. 4 out of 5

    D.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  20. 5 out of 5

    Damien Papworth

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  22. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Tippin

  23. 5 out of 5

    David

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Fox

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gregg

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zeke

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

  28. 5 out of 5

    LDM

  29. 5 out of 5

    Crystalyn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barry Hoch

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