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War, Journalism and History

War Correspondents in the Two World Wars- With a foreword by Phillip Knightley

Edited By Yvonne McEwen and Fiona A. Fisken

War, Journalism and History is the first published work to examine an eclectic mix of correspondents during the two world wars who were prepared, often at great personal cost, to inform the public about the obscenity of warfare. Throughout both world wars the lack of credible information being dispatched from fighting fronts to the home front led to the creation of an information vacuum. The void was filled by war correspondents: the heroes, sometimes anti-heroes, of news reporting. This edited volume examines the lives and works of maverick war correspondents such as Richard Dimbleby, Vasilii Grossman, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Albert Londres, Vera Brittain, and others who, whether through the use of pen or camera, typewriter or radio, tried to secure the integrity of wartime reporting and accurately record history in the making.


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Steven M. Miner ‘We Must Never Make Peace with Evil’: Vasilii Grossman


and a Writer’s Conscience in a War of Totalitarians In the waning days of the Soviet Union, one of Mikhail Gorbachev’s advi- sors was asked what positive achievements remained of the Soviet era. After thinking for a moment, he answered quietly: ‘we defeated the Nazis’. The Revolution, Civil War and ‘War Communism’ had been disastrous; the New Economic Policy (NEP) of the 1920s had simply been capitalism by another name; Stalin’s crash industrialization and collectivization had cost millions of lives, and his purges and repressions many millions more; in the post-war period, Nikita Khrushchev’s ideas were of ficially dismissed as ‘hare-brained schemes’; and the Leonid Brezhnev era was labelled the period of ‘stagnation’. Throughout the Soviet era, and continuing under Vladimir Putin, the victory over Hitler remains the iconic moment for modern Russia; the Red Army soldier not only saved Russia itself but also he rescued Europe and even civilization. Any attempt to question the purity of this triumph, or to pose awkward questions about the behaviour or motivation of Soviet soldiers, encounters a wall of of ficial and even popular hostility.1 The myth of the noble Soviet frontovik (front-line soldier) grows directly out of wartime accounts and has been given new life by Western authors aware of the debt the world owes the average Red Army serviceman: at no time during World War Two did the Western Allies face more than a quarter of the Wehrmacht (unified armed forces of Germany) and it was the Red Army that, in...

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