Let us begin with a question: why should you read a book by an author long since dead about a war fought more than half a century ago?
The answer is not simple. I could say that Alan Moorehead was a fine writer and you will be able to see in this first-hand account of the Allied victory over Germany a popular historian warming his skills for a long list of distinguished works that were to follow: among them, Gallipoli, The Russian Revolution, the White Nile, the Blue Nile, and the Fatal Impact.
In this revealing and very funny account of his career in journalism, Phillip Knightley tells the real story of a reporter’s life. From inauspicious beginnings as a seaman, vacuum cleaner salesman and South Sea Island trader, he went on to work for the notorious, foul-mouthed Australian newspaper magnate Ezra Norton, whose lurid tabloid became the model for the Sun and the New York Post.
Eventually, Knightley moved to England and wriggled his way on to the staff of the Sunday Times just as it entered its golden years. Twice winner of the Journalist of the Year award, he covered some of the most dramatic and ground-breaking stories of his time – exposing the cynical double-dealing of Thalidomide, reporting on the shadowy machinations of the Profumo scandal and unravelling the Hitler Diaries fiasco. Knightley’s investigations into the world of espionage led to an extraordinary correspondence with Kim Philby – the spy who betrayed a generation – and he became one of the few journalists to get access to Philby in Russia.
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