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Merchant of Words: The Life of Robert St. John

Merchant of Words: The Life of Robert St. John

by Terry Fred Horowitz


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During World War II, Robert St. John of NBC, broadcast from London opposite CBS's Edward R. Murrow. Afterward, St. John would become a noted writer and commentator on world affairs, as well as a prominent and vocal supporter of the state of Israel. In Merchant of Words: The Life of Robert St. John, Terry Fred Horowitz not only documents St. John's accomplishments and adventures but takes readers behind the scenes with St. John, who, for over three quarters of a century, served as a firsthand witness to history as it was being made in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

From his auspicious beginnings when lying about his age in order to join the U.S. Navy during World War I to his final days as a well-established author and "righteous gentile," St. John was both a participant and critical observer of American and world history. He became the youngest newspaper editor-publisher in the United States, breaking a story on prostitution in Cicero, Illinois, that resulted in his beating by Al Capone's mob. When World War II began he became a war correspondent for the Associated Press, later escaping from the Nazis when they invaded Yugoslavia, he was wounded by a Messerschmitt's strafing. He subsequently wrote From the Land of Silent People, the first full account of the fall of Yugoslavia and Greece during the war. Shortly afterward, he was hired by NBC as a radio broadcaster, covering the Blitz in London and D-Day and becoming the first commentator to announce the end of the war in Japan. During the McCarthy era, he was "pinklisted" and his passport was confiscated for a year, stranding him in Switzerland. During its War of Independence he started his lifelong love affair with Israel, becoming the only foreign correspondent to cover, in person, all of its wars, including the Israel-Lebanon War of 1982, during which he was known as the "dean of correspondents."

In addition to working as a regular contributor for the World Book Encyclopedia, St. John eventually wrote twenty-three books, many of them about Israel and the Middle East. These included well-received biographies of David Ben-Gurion (Builder of Israel), Eliezer Ben-Yehudah (Tongue of the Prophets), Abba Eban (Eban), and Gamal Abdul Nasser (The Boss: The Story of Gamel Abdal Nasser). Merchant of Words is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of journalism and the adventures of recognized war correspondent. For historians and history buffs it offers unique details from a journalist's perspective on World War II, the Cold War, the Red Scare, Vietnam and the history of Israel and the Middle East.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810889064
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/16/2014
Pages: 444
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

For thirty-five years, Terry Fred Horowitz ran his own architectural firm. During that time, he earned additional degrees in history from the University of Maryland and a master’s in congressional studies from Catholic University. He subsequently began a second career as an author, historian, biographer, and journalist.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Growing pains in Illinois
Chapter 2: You're in the Navy now!
Chapter 3: "Tekla": College bound and out to walk a beat
Chapter 4: First scoops: "Sunny" side up
Chapter 5: Exposing Capone and paying the price
Chapter 6: Archer aping Robert: Robert marrying Eda
Chapter 7: Who gets the credit?
Chapter 8: "How they gonna keep him down on the farm?
Chapter 9: A.P. war correspondent: Saving a Jewish family
Chapter 10: Escaping the Nazis: Strafing and shrapnel
Chapter 11: From the Land of Silent People
Chapter 12: Broadcasting during The Blitz: It's Always Tomorrow: D-Day: "Golden Voice of Radio"
Chapter 13: Getting Truman to play the piano: First to announce end of war
Chapter 14: NBC wields the axe: Robert takes a mistress
Chapter 15: The Silent People Speak and so does Robert: "All American Award"
Chapter 16: Seduced by Israel: Shalom Means Peace: Begin and the Irgun
Chapter 17: "Believe it or Not", Red Channels says Robert has communistic leanings: Tongue of the Prophets
Chapter 18: Apartheid in Africa: Witch doctor's potion deadens ear
Chapter 19: This Was My World: Passport taken away; Archer commits suicide; "You've had your pound of flesh:"
Chapter 20: In need of some friends: Grand jury
Chapter 21: Ben-Gurion's "goyisha friend": Nasser's The Boss
Chapter 22: Eichmann trial: JFK meets de Gaulle and Khrushchev
Chapter 23: Three books in one year -- Israel LIFE World Library - They Came from Everywhere-The Man Who Played God
Chapter 24: "Gosh" a new "Career": R&R
Chapter 25: Roll Jordan Roll
Chapter 26: The World Book Encyclopedia: Opposes Vietnam war: Encyclopedia of Radio and Television Broadcasting: Six Day War
Chapter 27: Is there any justice? Jews Justice and Judaism
Chapter 28: Once Around Lightly - South America More or Less
Chapter 29: Abba was I ere I saw Abba
Chapter 30: Yom Kippur War: Freedom of Information from the CIA, FBI and State Department
Chapter 31: Dean of war correspondents: Despite the Witches: "Righteous Gentile": One hundred years
About the Author

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