The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-maker from the Crimea to Kosovo

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Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000 - History - 574 pages
2 Reviews
"The most comprehensive j'accuse of journalism as propaganda in the English language... Ought to be read by every young reporter and by those who retain pride in our craft of truth-telling, not matter how unpopular or unpalatable the truth." -- John Pilger, from the Preface to the new edition

"The first casualty when war comes, is truth," said American Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917, and in his gripping, now-classic history of war journalism, Phillip Knightley shows just how right Johnson was. From William Howard Russell, who described the appalling conditions of the Crimean War in Times [London], to the ranks of reporters, photographers, and cameramen who captured the realities of war in Vietnam, The First Casualty tells a fascinating story of heroism and collusion, censorship and suppression, myth-making and propaganda. Since Vietnam, Knightley finds, governments have become much more adept at managing the media, and in new chapters on the Falklands, the Gulf War, and the former Yugoslavia, he concludes that the war correspondent's role as a seeker of truth is now in jeopardy.

From reviews of the first edition:

"[This book] may make us all a little more free to talk about and find the truth." -- Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review

"Disturbing, even dismaying, yet also in its painful way, enormously entertaining." -- New Yorker

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - douboy50 - LibraryThing

This review is for the 1975 edition which covers the period from the Crimean War through Viet Nam. My son just purchased the 2004 edition which goes into Iraq. In effect, my son's edition adds about 4 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

This is a 1975 book and covers reporting from the war zone in every war from the Crimean to Vietnam. The author, an Australian, finds war correspondents have generally done a poor job in getting facts ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Caroline Kennedy is a researcher, journalist, humanitarian aid worker and theatre director. She currently lives between Costa Rica, Los Angeles and Newfoundland. She has spent five years of her life researching Stephen Ward's story and fighting to have his wrongful conviction overturned. Phillip Knightley has been a leading investigative journalist in Britain for over 40 years. He is the author of several books, including "The First Casualty," "The Second Oldest Profession" and "The Philby Conspiracy

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