Past to Present: A Reporter's Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics

Past to Present: A Reporter's Story of War, Spies, People, and Politics

by William Stevenson
     
 

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William Stevenson may be best known for his friendship with and books about another William Stephenson, otherwise known as Intrepid, whose spy network and secret diplomacy changed the course of history.  However, readers may be just as fascinated by his own exciting life as a British naval fighter pilot during World War II, a distinguished journalist and war

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Overview

William Stevenson may be best known for his friendship with and books about another William Stephenson, otherwise known as Intrepid, whose spy network and secret diplomacy changed the course of history.  However, readers may be just as fascinated by his own exciting life as a British naval fighter pilot during World War II, a distinguished journalist and war correspondent, and the author of many books.  Stevenson chronicles the major events of his life, beginning with his escapades as a naval pilot during WWII, flying all different types of aircraft—Stringbag, Tiger Moth, Seafire, Hellcats—and learning various maneuvers in England, Canada, Scotland, and the Pacific.  After the war, he still yearns for adventure, and so returns to Canada to write for The Toronto Daily Star, where he first meets William Stephenson (aka Intrepid) on assignment and develops a lifelong friendship.  Stevenson travels the globe, visiting Hong Kong, Delhi, Kashmir, Kenya, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Thailand, and many other exotic locals, where he meets iconic figures, such as Ian Fleming, Prime Minister Nehru, and Ho Chi Minh.  Privy to all sorts of confidential information and international intrigue, Stevenson has story after story to tell.  

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Kirkus Reviews
A World War II Royal Navy fighter pilot turned journalist recalls a long, full life becoming a man of the world. Born to a French mother and a father involved in secretive "special operations" during the war years, Stevenson (A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible WWII Narrative of the Hero Whose Spy Network and Secret Diplomacy Changed the Course of History, 2009, etc.) grew up in East London dreaming about faraway places. At age 16, during the London Blitz, he volunteered at the British Navy office and gradually made his way through stages of assessment as a pilot; he recounts his adventures and poignant loss of buddies in short, punchy chapters. "Help me justify being alive," he swore to the memory of lost comrades, and he decided to devote his life to the romantic idealism of his boyhood. In peacetime London, he got a job with Mercury News under Ian Fleming, who first informed him of an infamous man who shared his name, but with a different spelling: William Stephenson, who was well-known in British spy circles, and whom the author would later come to write about in A Man Called Intrepid. Stevenson relocated to Canada to work for the Toronto Star under the leadership of the enigmatic Harold Comfort Hindmarsh, or HCH, from whom he solicited approval for stories by submitting brief notes in his pigeonhole. The author was sent all over the world to cover exciting history-making moments ("HCH: Might it be worth confronting the killer of Leonid Trotsky in Mexico?"), and he records such encounters with Jawaharlal Nehru, Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, the young Dalai Lama, Ho Chi Minh (who impressed him mightily), Khrushchev and many others during his travels and documentary-making into Southeast Asia and Africa from the 1950s onward. Eloquent, bittersweet, memorable reflections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762773701
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.92(d)

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