“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”




It is often claimed that either Lenin or Stalin said this. The phrase — as S. J. Taylor. the author of Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty; The New York Times’s Man in Moscow, has noted — “would become the standard rationalization of Stalin’s actions during the First Five-Year Plan, years that would cover the brutal process of collectivization, the ‘liquidation of the kulaks as a class’—and the devastating famine that followed.”

It was Duranty who popularized the phrase, in his poem “Red Square,” published in the New York Times Magazine on September 18, 1932.

Russians may be hungry and short of clothes and comfort
But you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   November 2022

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