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Kaltenborn Edits the War News by H. V.…

Kaltenborn Edits the War News

by H. V. Kaltenborn

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Kaltenborn (http://www.otr.com/kaltenborn.shtml) was one of the America's most known and respected radio correspondents in the 30s and 40s. After America entered WWII, one of the movie newsreel companies began a series of features wherein Americans would be encouraged to send in their questions about the war. Kaltenborn would select a few representative questions and answer them on the newsreels, which would then, of course, be shown in movie houses before feature films.

This book is a compilation of some of those questions, with Kaltenborn's answers. What most fascinating about the book is that it was published in 1942. We have a tendency now to look back on the events of the war as if they were written in stone, but looking at the questions people had in 1942, and Kaltenborn's answers, show us how uncertain everything was and how many of decisions made by the Allies were far from inevitable.

Many of the questions concern things like the timing of the opening of a second front in Europe, which Kaltenborn believed would happen much sooner than it did. Kaltenborn also gives assurances that Russia will soon begin helping in the war against Japan, at least to the extent of allowing American bombers access to airfields on Soviet soil, a development which never occurred and which might have really changed the war in the Pacific.

Those misconceptions aside (or maybe even, in part, because of them), Kaltenborn here provides a great amount of fascinating insight about what was going on in 1942 and what Americans' concerns and questions were about those events. ( )
  rocketjk | Feb 2, 2009 |
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