Malcolm Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge was born in 1903. His father was a member of the House of Commons and Muggeridge later described his upbringing as "socialist".

In 1924 Muggeridge left Cambridge University and worked as a teacher in India and Egypt. He also contributed articles for various newspapers including the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph.

In 1932 Muggeridge became a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in the Soviet Union. He witnessed the Ukranian famine and wrote vivid accounts of this disaster. Muggeridge then returned to India where he became assistant editor for the Calcutta Statesman. He also published the book, The Earnest Atheist (1936).

On the outbreak of the Second World War, Muggeridge joined the Army Intelligence Corps and served in Mozambique, Italy, and France. He also worked for MI5 during this period.

After the war Muggeridge became a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Washington (1946-52). This was followed by a spell as editor of Punch Magazine (1953-57). He also worked as a television reporter for Panorama (1953-60). He also had two interview programmes: Appointment With (1960-61) and Let Me Speak (1964-65).

In later life Muggeridge became very religious and this is reflected in the books he published: Jesus Rediscovered (1969), Something Beautiful For God (1971), Chronicles of Wasted Time (1973), Jesus: The Man Who Lives (1975), Christ and the Media (1977), The End of Christendom (1980), A Third Testament (1983) and Confessions of a 20th Century Pilgrim (1988).

Malcolm Muggeridge died on 14th November, 1990.

Primary Sources

(1) Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time (1973)

Kitty (Muggeridge) and I were confident that going to Russia (in 1932) would prove to be a definitive step, a final adventure.... We sold off pretty well everything we had, making, as it were, a bonfire of all our bourgeois trappings: my dinner jacket, for instance, and Kitty's only long dress, as well as some little trinkets and oddments, and most of our books. ... We even wound up our bank account, taking what money we had - some £200 as I recall - in traveller's cheques. ... I took particular pleasure in jettisoning our marriage lines, and my ridiculous BA hood and certificate; these being also, in my eyes, badges of bourgeois servitude to be discarded for ever.

(2) Malcolm Muggeridge, interviwed by Andrew Boyle for his book The Climate of Treason (1979)

There's no doubt that Maclean knew his stuff. I found him a dull, humourless and rather pompous young man who tried a bit too hard to appear agreeable and relaxed.I can't say I ever warmed to Maclean. He was far too much of a cold fish beneath the polished surface charm. Nevertheless, during a bad period when the Americans were obviously determined to carry on in their own semi-isolationist way - Cold War or no Cold War - I couldn't but admire Maclean's astute appreciation of day-to-day diplomatic difficulties. He never struck a wrong note in public. He never lowered his guard.