“Assignment to Hell is a book every modern journalist—and citizen—should read. The ‘assignment’ is World War II, the largest event in the history of mankind, a war unlike any other before or since. The men who covered it on the front lines, in the air and at sea were beyond brave and resourceful—and great company for each other. Those legendary journalists, Cronkite and Rooney among them, were the eyes and ears of a nation depending on them for stories that instructed, inspired and entertained. I salute them all.”—Tom Brokaw, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Greatest Generation
“If one can say that reading a book titled Assignment to Hell was a delight, I say it now. The stories are so vivid and alive all these years later that I felt I was there with the legendary correspondents of World War II as they wrote their way from France to Germany.”—David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of They Marched Into Sunlight
“World War II was also fought by a free press. Assignment to Hell is a worthy story about great and adventurous reporters, my father among them, who flew in the bombers, jumped with parachutes, and ducked into foxholes to report news of the war home to America.”—Brian Rooney, former ABC New correspondent
“Tim Gay brilliantly tells the tale of five of the greatest reporters of World War II chasing the biggest story of their lives, filing the first draft of history with their newspapers while writing letters home to wives and girlfriends with the first version of lifelong family lore.”—Chip Cronkite, son of Walter Cronkite
“Timothy Gay is a gifted, perceptive writer who succeeds in deftly weaving together journalism and military history. Assignment to Hell is a poignant human story that will move you deeply.”—John C. McManus, Author of The Dead and Those About to Die
“This charming, wide-angle recap shows how the men who wrote history’s first draft worked and played while in the line of fire.” —World War II magazine
“A sprightly synthesis of literature and history… unique [and] engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Dull storytelling wasn’t a problem for war correspondents Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, A.J. Liebling, Homer Bigart and Hal Boyle. Their courage in getting close enough to the action to tell America how the war against Germany was going shines through in Timothy M. Gay’s Assignment to Hell.”—San Diego Union-Tribune
“Assignment to Hell is racy reading—full of back stories, private lives, booze and gossip about generals, reporters and news organizations. It is also an important book, telling how five men became writers of the first draft of the history of World War II. A free press never had better allies, and Americans who prize democracy should know them, warts and all. Their kind of work keeps dictatorships at bay.”—Betsy Wade, former New York Times editor
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Timothy M. Gay is the author of Satch, Dizzy, & Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball before Jackie Robinson and Tris Speaker: The Rough-and-Tumble Life of a Baseball Legend. His essays and op-eds on American history, politics, public policy, and sports have appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and many other publications. A graduate of Georgetown University, where he majored in American history, Tim lives in Virginia with his wife and children.