Get the Damn Story

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304 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781647122973 ()

ISBN: 9781647122980

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April 2023
Sales Rights: WORLD


Table of Contents

Get the Damn Story
Homer Bigart and the Great Age of American Newspapers
Thomas W. Lippman
The captivating story of an influential journalist demonstrates the value of a free press to democratic society

In the decades between the Great Depression and the advent of cable television, when daily newspapers set the conversational agenda in the United States, the best reporter in the business was a rumpled, hard-drinking figure named Homer Bigart. Despite two Pulitzers and a host of other prizes, he quickly faded from public view after retirement. Few today know the extent to which he was esteemed by his peers.

Get the Damn Story is the first comprehensive biography to encompass all of Bigart's journalism, including both his war reporting and coverage of domestic events. Writing for the New York Herald Tribune and the New York Times, Bigart brought to life many events that defined the era—the wars in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam; the civil rights movement; the creation of Israel; the end of colonialism in Africa; and the Cuban Revolution.

The news media's collective credibility may have diminished in the age of Twitter, but Bigart's career demonstrates the value to a democratic society of a relentless, inquiring mind examining its institutions and the people who run them. The principle remains the same today: the truth matters. Historians and journalists alike will find Bigart's story well worth reading.
Thomas W. Lippman is a DC-based author and journalist who has specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for more than three decades. As a foreign correspondent of the Washington Post, he covered wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, and Somalia. The author of nine books, including most recently Crude Oil, Crude Money: Aristotle Onassis, Saudi Arabia, and the CIA, Lippman won the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for biography from the Independent Book Publishers Association for his profile of another unsung hero, USMC Colonel Bill Eddy.
"Homer Bigart was a giant in the world of journalism and perhaps the greatest reporter of his generation. Bigart is an understated hero—not a man who sought that status, but earned it from his guile and devotion to his profession. This briskly written book fills a big hole in the literature of journalism. A finely researched look at a figure who has long been a reporting legend. This biography is overdue."—Robert Miraldi, PhD, author of Seymour Hersh: Scoop Artist,

"Tom Lippman has given us a deeply researched, richly detailed, vividly written biography of Homer Bigart, a great reporter and war correspondent, set against an engaging backdrop of the colorful history of American newspapers and their vital role during their mid-twentieth century heyday."—Leonard Downie Jr., Weil Family Professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University, former executive editor, The Washington Post

Table of Contents
1. From Small Town to Gotham
2. Homer Bigart Goes to War
3. The Italian Campaign
4. The Pacific and the Bomb
5. Cold War, Tough Calls
6. Conflicts in Greece
7. Two Wars in Korea
8. The Red Menace, at Home and Abroad
9. Leaving the Sinking Ship
10. Cuba, Congo, and Cannibals
11. Reality Check in Vietnam
12. The Great Strike and a New Alice
13. Civil Rights, in Many Forms
14. The Long Roads End
Epilogue: What Would Homer Do?