We are now, more so than ever before, in dire need of someone like Ilya Ehrenburg. His passion, his sense of moral correctness – as he said, “the wolf hunter is right, yet the cannibal errs”, his science of how to develop hatred towards the enemy, his talent for life, in synch with strivings, triumphs, and downfalls, of his time. He was a revolutionary in Moscow in the 1900s, a bohemian in Paris in the 1910s, an anti-Bolshevik poet and satirical journalist in Europe in the 1920s, a pro-Soviet novelist in Paris and later a war journalist in Spain in the 1930s, the most popular war journalist in the Soviet Union in the 1940s, one of the designers and advocates of the “thaw” period in Soviet Union in the 1950s, author of memoirs that forever changed the outlook of the Soviet citizen and opened up a window to Europe and the lives of its leading figures in the 1960s. All these varied descriptions fit one individual, a charming, passionate Jew, of medium height, who Vladimir Lenin dubbed “Ilya uncombed”. In fact, fate seemed to offer itself to Ilya, in an indeed unkempt way – full of contradictions, pulsating with emotion, lengthy, and yet youthful.

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