Liebling's War: World War II Dispatches of A.J. Liebling
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'There is an old proverb,' A. J. Liebling wrote, 'that a girl may sleep with one man without being a trollop, but let a man cover one little war and he is a war correspondent.' The only reason Liebling is not well known as a war correspondent is that his war dispatches have been overshadowed by his postwar "New Yorker" writings. This book gives us the World War II narrative Liebling would have produced had he been amenable to the task of editing his own dispatches - a task he resisted because of the difficulty of trying to organize something as 'repetitive and disparate' as war. The "New Yorker" sent Liebling to Paris in October 1939 to cover the war in Europe. The assignment lasted through the liberation of Paris and a few weeks thereafter, and here for the first time Liebling's war dispatches, as fresh today as they were seventy years ago, are arranged to form a coherent narrative. The editors have grouped the dispatches into five parts that trace the development of the war in Europe and end with a retrospective coda. When Liebling arrived in Paris the Germans had not yet invaded.
This first section of the book covers the period before the German invasion and concludes with the fall of France in 1940. The next section concludes with the American entry into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Part III covers the North African campaign. Part IV describes the Normandy invasion and the Allied push to liberate Paris in the summer of 1944. The coda concludes with the three essays written when Liebling returned to France in the mid 1950s and revisited the invasion and the push for Paris and its liberation.
James Barbour is professor emeritus, Gary Scharnhorst is distinguished professor, and Fred B. Warner is associate professor emeritus, all in the English Department at the University of New Mexico.
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- ID: 9780826349057
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