Reporting on WWII for the Chicago Daily News from 1941 to 1945, George Weller (1907-2002) filed stories from every theater. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1943 for a story on an emergency appendectomy performed with kitchen utensils on a submarine in Japanese waters. He was strafed and shelled, contracted recurrent malaria, trained as a paratrooper, flew a mission over Italy on a B-17 with two engines down. He was the first outside observer at nuclear-devastated Nagasaki. He reported it all in an urbane, understated style that never palls. Weller had no sense of himself as a Great Journalist-which perhaps is why he was one. Weller's 1944 presentation of "the worldwide American" stands out as a model of brevity and insight: "His foreign policy represents an attempt to become popular by being benevolent, rather than to be respected by being reasonable." Weller has been obscured by better known personalities like Ernie Pyle. This anthology, edited by his son, should give him the recognition his work merits. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Weller's War: A Legendary Foreign Correspondent's Saga of World War II on Five Continentsby George Weller
Walter Cronkite called him “one of our best war correspondents.” His stories from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Paciﬁc during World War II won him the Pulitzer Prize. Now, George Weller is immortalized in a collection of fearless, intrepid dispatches that crisscross a shattered globe. Edited by his son, Weller’s War provides an eyewitness look at modern history’s greatest upheaval, and also contains never-published reporting alongside excerpts from three books. From battlefront to beachhead, Weller incisively chronicles the heroism and humanity that still managed to triumph amid horriﬁc events.
Following the Nazi seizure of Eastern Europe and his own “quarantine” in Greece by the Gestapo, George Weller accompanies Congolese troops freeing Ethiopia for Haile Selassie. He remains in doomed Singapore until the colony falls. On Java, he watches brave American ﬁghter pilots delay the island’s collapse. Strafed by Japanese planes, he escapes by small boat to Australia. He covers the Paciﬁc, from the Solomon Islands to the jungle hell of New Guinea. Back in Europe he sees a liberated Greece beset by civil war, then crosses the Middle East. In Burma, he risks guerrilla raids behind enemy lines. At the war’s close, he hurries from China to a defeated but uncowed Japan, where new horrors await.
And he struggles throughout against a tireless adversary—censorship. Vivid and heart-stopping, the dispatches of World War II reporter George Weller are as intimate, memorable, and relevant today as they were nearly seventy years ago—and demonstrate what it meant to be a foreign correspondent long before the era of satellite phones and the Internet.
From the Hardcover edition.
George Weller wrote for the Chicago Daily News for 35 years, achieving fame for his widely ranging dispatches from the many fronts of World War II. He was captured by the Gestapo in Greece, escaped from Java on a boat strafed by Japanese fighters, marched with Belgian colonial troops fighting Italian colonial troops in Ethiopia, and slogged through swamps with Americans and Australians locked in grim struggles in New Guinea. Weller's war reporting won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1943. Here, his son assembles many of his dispatches, which add tremendously to our understanding of the war at ground level, the people's war. His aim was to tell the people back home what their heroes were doing. Anthony Weller previously edited First into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War, a book of his father's unpublished dispatches from post-surrender Japan. Anyone interested in World War II will want to read both volumes.
Edwin B. Burgess
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