Daily Telegraph – 11 April 1985
‘It won't happen again OUP chief promises,’ states your headline (April 8) about the insertion of tendentious and propagandist definitions of Capitalism, Communism and Fascism in special editions of Oxford dictionaries prepared in Britain for the USSR.
Yet, this reassurance is immediately given the lie by your report of what Oxford University Press chief executive, Mr George Richardson, would have recommended, if he had known in time what his underlings preparing the dictionaries had agreed to: ‘The definitions could have been preceded by a qualifying phrase like “according to Marxist teaching”.’
Would the OUP, I wonder, accept comparably tendentious Fascist definitions, if prefaced by a qualifying phrase like ‘according to Fascist teaching’? Or is this a privilege to be reserved for the Kremlin's use of the Oxford imprimatur?
Once again we see that – come the Revolution – there will be no shortage of time-serving intellectuals to put an academic gloss on totalitarianism.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS