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Eve of a Hundred Midnights : The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific
by Bill Lascher


Overview -

The unforgettable true story of two married journalists on an island-hopping run for their lives across the Pacific after the Fall of Manila during World War II--a saga of love, adventure, and danger.

On New Year's Eve, 1941, just three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were bombing the Philippine capital of Manila, where journalists Mel and Annalee Jacoby had married just a month earlier.  Read more...


 
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More About Eve of a Hundred Midnights by Bill Lascher
 
 
 
Overview

The unforgettable true story of two married journalists on an island-hopping run for their lives across the Pacific after the Fall of Manila during World War II--a saga of love, adventure, and danger.

On New Year's Eve, 1941, just three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were bombing the Philippine capital of Manila, where journalists Mel and Annalee Jacoby had married just a month earlier. The couple had worked in China as members of a tight community of foreign correspondents with close ties to Chinese leaders; if captured by invading Japanese troops, they were certain to be executed. Racing to the docks just before midnight, they barely escaped on a freighter--the beginning of a tumultuous journey that would take them from one island outpost to another. While keeping ahead of the approaching Japanese, Mel and Annalee covered the harrowing war in the Pacific Theater--two of only a handful of valiant and dedicated journalists reporting from the region.

Supported by deep historical research, extensive interviews, and the Jacobys' personal letters, Bill Lascher recreates the Jacobys' thrilling odyssey and their love affair with the Far East and one another. Bringing to light their compelling personal stories and their professional life together, Eve of a Hundred Midnights is a tale of an unquenchable thirst for adventure, of daring reportage at great personal risk, and of an enduring romance that blossomed in the shadow of war.



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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062375209
  • ISBN-10: 0062375202
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 416
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > Military - World War II
Books > History > Asia - General
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Editors, Journalists, Publishers

 
BookPage Reviews

A married team of war correspondents

The lot of a war correspondent has always been one of improvisation and compromise. Apart from the constant prospect of being maimed, killed or captured, there are the enduring problems of locating reliable sources, minimizing the distortions of censorship and finding ways of transmitting dispatches from the battlefield to the newsroom. Conditions were particularly dicey for American reporters covering the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific. Prominent among these imperiled scribes were two newlyweds: Time’s Far East bureau chief Mel Jacoby and his freelance-writer wife, Annalee. Both had reported extensively from China prior to Mel being transferred to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, just weeks before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

A distant relative of Mel, author Bill Lascher constructs his account of the pair’s reporting and their dramatic flight across the Pacific primarily from the massive collection of personal letters, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs and films Mel’s mother preserved. 

Mel was born into a Hollywood family with movie connections but gravitated to journalism during his years at Stanford. He and his future wife, Annalee Whitmore, both worked on the Stanford Daily but barely knew each other at the time. Both were interested in the people and politics of China, which was then under assault from an expansionist Japan. Prior to teaming up with Jacoby, Whitmore had been a scriptwriter for MGM with an Andy Hardy movie to her credit.

Lascher spends the first half of the book tracing Mel’s reporting work in China and the last half tracking Mel and Annalee’s harrowing escape from Manila and Corregidor as the Japanese forces poured in. Traveling only at night, they eventually made it to safety in Australia.

Although it is incidental to the main narrative here, students of journalism will be fascinated by the level of control Time Inc. owner Henry Luce exerted over his reporters’ stories in order to control how China would be portrayed to the world.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews