REPORTING THE WAR: The Journalistic Coverage of World War II by Frederick S. Voss

REPORTING THE WAR: The Journalistic Coverage of World War II

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An outstanding and colorful account of the men and women who covered WW II for newspapers and radio. As we approach the 50th anniversary of D-day, Voss profiles the bravery and high ethical standards of these correspondents, photographers, and battlefield artists. Voss, a curator at the National Portrait Gallery, discusses such legendary figures as Edward R. Murrow, William Shirer, Ernie Pyle, and the cartoonist Bill Maudlin. But Voss is not content merely to recite the biographical details. He grapples with the very contentious issue of censorship when a great democracy goes to war, or as he puts it, ""the nation's security vs. the right to know."" Two particularly noteworthy chapters deal with women journalists in combat and the African-American press. He chronicles the story of George Schuyler, editor of the black newspaper The Pittsburgh Courier. Schuyler trenchantly pointed out the irony of racism toward blacks in America while the country was fighting fascism abroad. The story of cartoonist Maudlin's run-in with General George Patton, who hardly appreciated Maudlin's satirical jabs at military life, is told with flair. Voss sees comics as having performed the function of editorial pages -- rallying support for the war. He concludes his book with a moving discussion of John Hersey's Hiroshima, about the dropping of the atomic bomb. Voss also includes an appendix with Murrow's reporting from the Buchenwald concentration camp following its liberation, and a sample of Schuyler's searing commentary on racism. This book has dozens of photos and illustrations that bring the period to life. As the events of WW II fade from living memory, this book will hopefully preserve the work of that era's journalists for generations to come.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1994
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Smithsonian