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Reporting the Retreat: War Correspondents in Burma

Woods, Philip

978 1 84904 717 3
List price(s):
20.00 GBP

Publication date:
23 February 2017

Short description: 

Wartime suffering on a massive scale as witnessed by reporters covering the retreat through Burma.

Full description: 

The British defeat in Burma at the hands of the Japanese in 1942 marked the longest retreat in British army history and the onset of its most drawn-out campaign of World War II. It also marked the beginning of the end of British rule, not only in Burma but also in south and south-east Asia. There have been many studies of military and civilian experiences during the retreat but this is the first book to look at the way the campaign was represented in the Western media: newspapers, pictorial magazines, and newsreels. There were some twenty-six accredited war correspondents covering the campaign, and almost half of them wrote books about their experiences, mostly within a year or two of the defeat. Their accounts were censured by government officials as being misinformed and sensationalist. More recent historians, on the other hand, have criticised them for being too patriotic and optimistic in their coverage and thus giving the public an unrealistic view of how the war was progressing. Philip Woods returns to the original sources to asses the validity of these criticisms.His is the first re-evaluation of the war correspondent's role in Burma and as such will be of great value to students of journalism and media.


Philip Woods studied History at LSE and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has published on British-Indian politics after World War I, and the British use of film as propaganda in India. He has taught at the University of West London, Kingston University and continues to teach at NYU in London.




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