Betsy Cronkite carefully saved the letters, copying many to circulate among family and friends. More than a hundred of Cronkite's letters from 1943-45 (plus a few earlier letters) survive. They reveal surprising and little known facts about this storied public figure in the vanguard of "The Greatest Generation" and a giant in American journalism, and about his World War II experiences. They chronicle both a great love story and a great war story, as told by the reporter who would go on to become anchorman for the CBS Evening News, with a reputation as "the most trusted man in America."
Illustrated with heartwarming photos of Walter and Betsy Cronkite during the war from the family collection, the book is edited by Cronkite's grandson, CBS associate producer Walter Cronkite IV, and esteemed historian Maurice Isserman, the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of History at Hamilton College.
Now this historical portrait is new in paperback.
|Publisher:||National Geographic Society|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
MAURICE ISSERMAN is the Publius Virgilius Rogers Professor of History at Hamilton College.
His most recent book is the prize-winning Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes, co-written with Stewart Weaver, which the New York Times called "the book of a lifetime...an awe-inspiring work of history and storytelling."
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
Foreword Tom Brokaw xi
Map: Walter Cronkite's World War II Assignments xiv
Character Key xvii
Introduction Walter Cronkite IV xxv
Chapter 1 A Pretty Personal Matter 1
Chapter 2 The Writing Sixty-Ninth 11
Chapter 3 The Youthful Dean of American Air-War Writers 79
Chapter 4 Invasion Jitters 143
Chapter 5 Once This War Is Over 201
Epilogue Maurice Isserman 289
Afterword Walter Cronkite IV 303
Time Line 309
Select Bibliography 313
Illustrations Credits 314
What People are Saying About This
"What a treasure! If you like the news, if you like a good adventure story or if you're just a sucker for a good old fashioned love story, you will love this book." —Bob Schieffer, CBS News
"The immediacy of these letters provides an unforgettable glimpse into how people lived during the most devastating war in human history, and shed light on how Walter Cronkite became one of our greatest newsmen." —Susan Eisenhower
"An extraordinary journey with the most trusted man in America." —Kirkus Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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For anyone who admires Walter Cronkite this is required reading. It's full of vivid descriptions and great detail of the war, England, it's people and his love for his wife, Betsy. It's remarkable that the letters were saved and could be put into book form.
I have always been a bit of a WW II buff, so this was an easy decision to purchase. It offers an interesting view of the war, the people of England, and the Americans who served there. Cronkite, always a talented observer, shared many experiences in detail, in his letters home. It's a great read.
Format is excellent and composition was well thought out. I guess it was probably just me and my expectation of the Cronkite I watched on the news.
If you like history and are a fan of Walter Cronkite, this is the book for you! It gives you a first hand view of his experiences during World War II--the personal as well as professional. As a woman, I especially related to his messages to his beloved wife, Betsy, who he missed dearly. The letters capture his loneliness and yearnings to be reunited.
Shown on the far left is my grandfather, Ceibert C. Bragg, who joined the Army Air Corp as a gunner/engineer on a Martin Marauder B-26 as a member of the 454th Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group. The B-26 crew in the photo flew Walter Cronkite on the "U.S.O." plane the day the photo was taken; however, they were a relief crew whose primary aircraft was "Honest Injun" which flew in the third wave of the invasion of Normandy. During an aerial engagement, my grandfather's plane was attacked by two Messerschmitt fighters; he engaged both and was credited for destroying one. For his actions, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 9 clusters and numerous other recognitions. After 63 combat missions, he entered pilot training and was released upon cessation of hostilities. He reenlisted after discharge and served during the Korean War. He retired as a Master Sergeant after 21 years military service in 1963. My grandfather passed away on May 22, 2011 just shy of his 90th birthday. He was a hero from the greatest generation. God speed.