White ( The Making of the President series) was a prescient reporter, as shown by his 1952 profile depicting the Catholic left as a new force in European politics, or his 1960s coverage of the racial conflict and white backlash tearing apart U.S. cities. He filed impressive dispatches as a WW II Time and Life correspondent in China, and he gauged the impact of the war and of Japan's sordid occupation. In his best work--which combines a journalist's immediacy and a historian's breadth--White, who died in 1986, illuminates the centuries-old hatred between France and Germany and the trail of errors that led the U.S. into the Vietnam quagmire. He provokes with his analysis of the breakdown of African American communities, with his 1985 attack on Japan's ``unfair'' business practices and with his call to abolish the electoral college but to retain the electoral vote by each state. Rich, varied, at times dated, this collection encompasses city politics, McCarthyism and White's 1983 return trip to China, where Deng Xiaoping struck him as ``half elf, half gunman.'' (Nov.)
In this collection of nonfiction magazine articles by the late author of the classic Making of the President series and In Search of History , readers can relive the years of journalistic adventure of a masterful storyteller around the world in wartime and peacetime. This is White at his best. Selections run the gamut from his wartime reporting in China to his observations on U.S. politics. There are also his profiles of such noted figures as Chiang Kai-Shek, John F. Kennedy, and Andre Malraux. Especially recommended for general collections, because it's ``a good read'' about important issues, primarily foreign but also domestic, spanning a 47-year period.-- Abraham Z. Bass, Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb
The force of White's journalism, perhaps even the cause of his longevity, bursts through in this tribute to his career. His organized blending of thesis, statistics, and interviews wears well and can stand as a model for his craft. Some articles need but a face lift of dates and personalities to pose questions still topical: Are intellectuals a positive or negative influence on democratic government? How should Germany be integrated with the West? What animates American electoral politics? His books about presidential campaigns made him a celebrity, and these articles contain the seeds of that fame. Editor Thompson gives a balanced summary of White's career (including criticism that he was loathe to offend the powerful), which began as a foreign correspondent in China, Europe, and spot duty elsewhere. Because his articles appeared in America's mass-circulation press for more than 40 years, and because he's an excellent model for aspiring journalists, most libraries will want this.