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After almost two years slogging with infantrymen through North Africa, Italy, and France, Ernie Pyle immediately realized he was ill prepared for covering the Pacific War. As Pyle and other war correspondents discovered, the climate, the logistics, and the sheer scope of the Pacific theater had no parallel in the war America was fighting in Europe.
From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The War Beat, Pacific provides the first comprehensive account of how a group of highly courageous correspondents covered America's war against Japan, what they witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front's perception of some of the most pivotal battles in American military history. In a dramatic and fast-paced narrative based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Casey takes us from MacArthur's doomed defense on the Philippines and the navy's overly strict censorship policy at the time of Midway, through the bloody battles on Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Tarawa, Saipan, Leyte and Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, detailing the cooperation, as well as conflict, between the media and the military, as they grappled with the enduring problem of limiting a free press during a period of extreme crisis.
The War Beat, Pacific shows how foreign correspondents ran up against practical challenges and risked their lives to get stories in a theater that was far more challenging than the war against Nazi Germany, while the US government blocked news of the war against Japan and tried to focus the home front on Hitler and his atrocities.
Steven Casey is Professor in International History at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Cautious Crusade: Franklin Roosevelt, American Public Opinion and the War against Nazi Germany (OUP, 2001); Selling the Korean War: Propaganda, Politics and Public Opinion (OUP, 2008); When Soldiers Fall: How Americans have Confronted Combat Casualties (OUP, 2014); and The War Beat Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany (OUP, 2017).
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