Edgar Snow (1905–1972) was one of the most notable Western journalists to report on China in both the revolutionary and postrevolutionary periods. He first became famous in the mid-1930s when he broke through a Nationalist blockade and reached the Communists in northwest China. For nearly a decade, no foreign reporter had seen the Communists, who were widely regarded as a ragtag bandit army. Snow took them seriously as a national movement. His reporting in the now-famous book Red Star over Chinawas major news, even to the Chinese, thousands of whom joined the Communists after reading it. It has remained a seminal reference on the early Chinese Communist movement.
In this award-winning biography, journalist John Maxwell Hamilton follows Snow from his birth in Kansas City to his rise as a celebrated foreign correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, his ostracism during the cold war, and his role as a singular journalistic bridge between Communist China and the United States. With a new preface by the author, this revealing portrait of the widely misunderstood Snow firmly establishes him as a model for the kind of committed reporting that is crucial to understanding our interdependent world.
John Maxwell Hamilton, a former foreign correspondent, is the author of Journalism's Roving Eye: A History of American Foreign Reporting and other books. He is executive vice chancellor and provost of Louisiana State University, LSU Foundation Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor, and the founding dean of LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication.
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