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Ed Kennedy's War

V-E Day, Censorship, and the Associated Press

by Ed Kennedy edited by Julia Kennedy Cochran introduction by Tom Curley

From Our Own Correspondent

248 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / 14 halftones, 1 map

ebook available

World War II | Journalism

  Hardcover / 9780807145258 / May 2012

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.

In this absorbing and previously unpublished personal account, Kennedy recounts his career as a newspaperman from his early days as a stringer in Paris to the aftermath of his dismissal from the AP. During his time as a foreign correspondent, he covered the Spanish Civil War, the rise of Mussolini in Italy, unrest in Greece, and ethnic feuding in the Balkans. During World War II, he reported from Greece, Italy, North Africa, and the Middle East before heading back to France to cover its liberation and the German surrender negotiations. His decision to break the news of V-E Day made him front-page headlines in the New York Times. In his narrative, Kennedy emerges both as a reporter with an eye for a good story and an unwavering foe of censorship. 
 
This edition includes an introduction by Tom Curley and John Maxwell Hamilton, as well as a prologue and epilogue by Kennedy’s daughter, Julia Kennedy Cochran.
Julia Kennedy Cochran worked as a journalist in New York for the Associated Press, Reuters, and Business Week magazine. She obtained an MBA at Columbia University and worked as a marketing manager at high-tech companies in New York and Seattle.

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'OrtoJournalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

Links for Ed Kennedy's War

Give Ed Kennedy the Posthumous Pulitzer He Deserves (The Atlantic)

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