Synopses & Reviews
A bumptious narrative history of American newspapermen in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, a time when serious journalism still went hand in hand with relative poverty, good times, and a carefree spirit cultivated by eccentric personalities. An absorbing and delightful book.
"Weber offers an entertaining overview of expatriate journalists in Paris during the glory years, chronicling everything from deadline desperation to clandestine affairs. The New York Herald's Paris edition began in 1887, and as Paris became more American, the Paris Herald followed suit. Managing editor Eric Hawkins felt his paper was 'an incubator for the most colorful, competent and sometimes crazy newspapermen that ever populated a city room.' More 'newsroom high jinks' took place at the competing Paris Tribune, and the two papers merged in 1934. Weber's scholarly skills (he's professor emeritus of American studies at Notre Dame) recapture that long-lost generation of writers, not just the usual suspects (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Janet Flanner, Henry Miller) but a parade of foreign correspondents, culture columnists, magazine freelancers (for The Boulevardier and Paris Comet), poets and novelists. As women reporters emerged, Mary Knight became a contemporary Nellie Bly for United Press after disguising herself as a man to witness a guillotining. Faces frozen in the book's eight pages of b&w photos become animated in this superb history, thanks to Weber's fluid, detailed writing and flair for breezy anecdotes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)