Ed Kennedy's War
V-E Day, Censorship, and the Associated Press
On May 7, 1945, Associated Press reporter Ed Kennedy became the most famous—or infamous—American correspondent of World War II. On that day in France, General Alfred Jodl signed the official documents as Germans surrendered to the Allies. Army officials allowed a select number of reporters, including Kennedy, to witness this historic moment—but then instructed the journalists that the story was under military embargo. In a courageous but costly move, Kennedy defied the military embargo and broke the news of the Allied victory. His scoop generated instant controversy. Rival news organizations angrily protested, and the AP fired him several months after the war ended.
Tom Curley is president and CEO of the Associated Press.
Advance Praise for Ed Kennedy's War
“Ed Kennedy’s War is partly a vivid tale of a sharp-eyed World War II foreign correspondent as he bears witness to the savagery and foolishness of war and partly a display of journalistic guts and judgment under great stress. It is thrilling and shrewd and brave, with the kicker of how Kennedy was crushed after winning his greatest scoop. For anyone who wants to know how it was, the book is a window on the reality of war and reporting.”—Alex S. Jones, author of Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy
“It was the greatest news beat of World War II and the ultimate challenge to political censorship. Yet Ed Kennedy, top correspondent of the Associated Press, suffered condemnations on all sides for breaking the news of the German surrender prior to the official announcement. . . . This authoritative history, based on Kennedy’s absorbing memoir found after his death, vindicates him and is testament to the need to resist political withholding of information, which the nation was to experience once again in the Indochina war.”—Seymour Topping, author of On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent’s Journal from the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam
“Ed Kennedy’s AP war stories were smoothly written, full of flowing English and rich in detail. He was the kind of reporter who made his readers feel they were there with him on the scene. This fascinating memoir was written by a gifted war correspondent.”—Sydney H. Schanberg, author of Beyond the Killing Fields: War Writings
"This volume elucidates the historical record and poses an ethical dilemma that makes it valuable reading for journalism educators, researchers, and students at all levels." - Giovanna Dell'Orto, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Links for Ed Kennedy's War
Give Ed Kennedy the Posthumous Pulitzer He Deserves (The Atlantic)
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