Cover image for From the front : the story of war featuring correspondents' chronicles
From the front : the story of war featuring correspondents' chronicles
Sweeney, Michael S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, [2002]

Physical Description:
319 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 29 cm
Format :


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PN4823 .S97 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
PN4823 .S97 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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In this gripping archive of war, Michael S. Sweeney presents a fascinating history of the evolution of warfare and of war correspondenceUfrom soldiers working double-duty as recorders of war to today’s journalists who don helmets in pursuit of their story. Along the way, readers will discover the important role photographers and writers have played in influencing war, its strategies, and its outcomes. From the Crimean War in 1854 to the ongoing war against terrorism in the 21st century, discover the story of war in all its horror, triumph, and global impact. Then see it brought to life from the home frontUand recorded for posterity—by correspondents reporting from the front lines. In From the Front, Sweeney takes readers to witness war through astonishing photography, maps, artwork, and compelling text. In addition, he features the vivid, first-hand accounts of the journalists who captured war. Among its memorable moments, the book reveals a close-up view of the ill-fated charge of the Light Brigade and, later, Custer’s last stand; remembers the Spanish Civil War, featuring accounts of Ernest Hemingway; relives the London Blitz, with a focus on broadcaster Edward Murrow; and forever documents obscure Vietnam battlefields through the lens of Larry Burrows. The first book of its kind, From the Front fosters rare insight into the telling of war, and shows, in exquisite detail, how the tales have shaped our lives.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When William Howard Russell reported to readers of The Times on incompetence in the British army during the Crimean War, the government was displeased. So it sent a photographer to Russia to prove how well things were going. Slanting and spinning war news is as old as modern journalism, a theme reiterated in this photo-heavy presentation with text by journalism professor Sweeney and an introduction by David Halberstam. Another is the extreme danger courted by the war correspondent or photographer, with many having died to get the story: such was the fate of Robert Capa and Ernie Pyle, to mention just the most famous. Theirs and other journalists' stories populate the text, which builds the difficulties of covering a war, technical or political, around a summary history of the particular war in question. The selection of photographs is ample as well, including many famous, powerful, and disturbing scenes of the American Civil War, the Spanish civil war, World War II, Vietnam, and other conflicts. This tome's range and visual emphasis will keep aspiring war journalists interested from cover to cover. --Gilbert Taylor

Publisher's Weekly Review

This encyclopedia of wartime journalism is a sweeping visual history, pairing writings and photographs that showcase the author's considerable expertise with a sprinkling of contributions from various correspondents. Sweeney, a professor of journalism and author of Secrets of Victory, meticulously traces the evolution of wartime journalism from the days of soldiers-as-journalists, exploring topics such as the "inflated news" of the 19th century and propaganda camouflaged as news in the 20th century, military and government censorship and technological advances. Along the way, he offers interesting tidbits about the correspondents (e.g., Winston Churchill first gained public admiration as a correspondent during the Boer War) and fascinating glimpses into their struggles, hardships and dedication. Although this book is certain to gratify military and journalism historians, its appeal beyond these factions is limited: war is ugly and terrible, and Sweeney's treatment is painstaking honest. As sharp as the text is, however, it's the chilling photographs-the lifeless gazes of battlefield victims, the war-scourged landscapes-that really tell the story of combat. 174 photographs and maps. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved