Cover image for Fighting words : the war correspondents of World War Two
Fighting words : the war correspondents of World War Two
Collier, Richard, 1924-1996.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's, [1989]

Physical Description:
x, 230 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Thomas Dunne book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D743 .C518 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Richard Collier was born in London, England. At eighteen he joined the R.A.F. &, as a services war correspondent, traveled all over the Far East. He has contributed to many American & English magazines & has penned more than half a dozen books on World War II.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Collier portrays the Second World War through the eyes of so many war correspondents ("warcos") that few distinct personalities emerge; the focus is on the war news as it was gleaned, stumbled upon, and, occasionally, ferreted out. Tales concerning the accidental discovery of major news, such as the surrender of Finland, are particularly exciting. So too are the tales of censorship, hazardous journeys, and frontline reporting. Collier's chronological narrative centers on Europe with considerably less attention paid to the Pacific. An extensive bibliography is appended; index. --Denise Perry Donavin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Although Collier ( The Rainbow People ) treats only British and American journalists, the book is nonetheless an admirably complete survey of WW II war correspondents and their work. All of the stars are here: Ernie Pyle, Quentin Reynolds, Martha Gellhorn (for part of the war known as Mrs. Ernest Hemingway), and photographers Margaret Bourke-White and Robert Capa, as well as many lesser-knowns. Collier discusses the problems of censorship, often conducted by literal-minded, unbending military bureaucrats, and the difficulty of informing those at home about unpalatable truths. Burn-out, too, became an obstacle as the war continued and correspondents witnessed more than their share of misery and death. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Collier, who was a British correspondent for two years in World War II, tells the story of the world press's role in the most extensively reported war in history. Of particular interest is the censorship the governments and military placed upon the reporters and broadcasters; many of the war's biggest stories were uncovered but never reported, or reported much after the fact. Collier chronicles the journeys and works of Martha Gellhorn, Margaret Bourke-White, A.J. Liebling, Clare Booth, Harrison Salisbury, Quentin Reynolds, and Edward R. Murrow. He also relates the story of Ernie Pyle, the all-American boy from Main Street whose daily columns during the war became standard reading for most Americans. Collier's work covers a lot of ground, possibly too much. For more personal accounts, A.M. Sperber's Murrow: His Life and Times ( LJ 7/86) and Martha Gellhorn's The View from the Ground (Atlantic Monthly Pr. , 1988) are better choices. Still, an excellent overview.-- Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editorial Svces., Wondervu, Col. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.