Since 1921, some 300 resident U.S. newspeople have reported on the U.S.S.R., journeymen with whom Soviet officialdom, at least pre-glasnost, have dealt with suspicion, hostility and, on occasion, violence. ``No other foreign assignment embraces a correspondent as totally as does . . . Russia,'' according to Bassow. This is their story, captivating, balanced, informed, beginning with legendary John Reed who, unlike colleagues to follow, was much in favor, to today's print and TV journalists, told by a onetime member of the fraternity who holds a doctorate in Russian history, and who covered the beat first for the UP then as Newsweek bureau chief. Bassow was expelled in 1962. We read about his and other correspondents' fracases with the Soviet bureaucracy, their sometimes difficult relationships with their editors back home, their surprisingly rare rivalries among themselves, their family and social lives in the Soviet Union. Bassow, who emerges as a man of generous spirit, tells tales behind the news-making features and shows the personalities behind the bylines. Filing this story, he establishes himself as historian of the club. (February 15)
Bassowone of UPI's Moscow correspondents in the 1950s and founder of Newsweek 's bureau there in 1960reports on American correspondents in Moscow since 1917 and their relationship with Soviet society. He discusses the way reporters lived, effects of life there on their families, and problems of female reporters. He notes the continual tension between the two countries, leading to harassment, occasional kidnapping, and expulsion of reporters, and culminating in the ominous Daniloff affair. A fascinating history of print and network journalists, recommended for public and academic libraries. Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa.