The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq / Edition 3

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"The first casualty when war comes, is truth," said American Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917. In his gripping, now-classic history of war journalism, Phillip Knightley shows just how right Johnson was. From William Howard Russell, who described the appalling conditions of the Crimean War in the Times of London, to the ranks of reporters, photographers, and cameramen who captured the realities of war in Vietnam, The First Casualty tells a fascinating story of heroism and collusion, censorship and suppression.

Since Vietnam, Knightley reveals, governments have become much more adept at managing the media, as highlighted in chapters on the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and the conflict between NATO and Serbia over Kosovo. And in a new chapter on the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Knightley details even greater degrees of government manipulation and media complicity, as evidenced by the "embedding" of reporters in military units and the uncritical, openly patriotic coverage of these conflicts. "The age of the war correspondent as hero," he concludes, "appears to be over." Fully updated, The First Casualty remains required reading for anyone concerned about freedom of the press, journalistic responsibility, and the nature of modern warfare.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

History News Network
Remains the single most perceptive treatment of journalism in times of war and conflict.

— Murray Polner

History News Network - Murray Polner

Remains the single most perceptive treatment of journalism in times of war and conflict.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801880308
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2004
  • Edition description: third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 648,507
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Knightley was an award-winning investigative journalist with the Sunday Times for twenty years. He has written numerous books, including The Master Spy: The Story of Kim Philby, and a memoir, A Hack's Progress. He lives in London and travels widely to write and lecture.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 "The miserable parent of a luckless tribe" 1854-1856 1
2 The first challenge 1861-1865 19
3 The golden age 1865-1914 43
4 Quite another game 1899-1902 67
5 The last war 1914-1918 83
6 Enter America 1917-1918 121
7 The remedy for Bolshevism in bullets 1917-1919 147
8 The real scoop 1935-1936 185
9 Commitment in Spain 1936-1939 207
10 "Their finest hour" 1939-1941 237
11 The struggle for mother Russia 1941-1945 265
12 Remember Pearl Harbour 1937-1945 293
13 Never again 1940-1945 331
14 Korea, the United Nation's war 1950-1953 365
15 Algeria is French 1954-1962 391
16 Vietnam 1954-1975 409
17 War is fun 1954-1975 441
18 Britannia rules the news 1975-1989 469
19 The deadly video game 1990-1991 483
20 The military's final victory March-June, 1999 501
21 No more heroes March-April, 2003 527
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