A giant in American journalism in the vanguard of "The Greatest Generation" reveals his World War II experiences in this National Geographic book. Walter Cronkite, an obscure twenty-three-year-old United Press wire service reporter, married Betsy Maxwell on March 30, 1940, following a four-year courtship. She proved to be the love of his life, and their marriage lasted happily until her death in 2005. But before Walter and Betsy Cronkite celebrated their second anniversary, he became a credentialed war correspondent, preparing to leave her behind to go overseas. The couple spent months apart in the summer and fall of 1942, as Cronkite sailed on convoys to England and North Africa across the submarine-infested waters of the North Atlantic. After a brief December leave in New York City spent with his young wife, Cronkite left again on assignment for England. This time, the two would not be reunited until the end of the war in Europe. Cronkite would console himself during their absence by writing her long, detailed letters-sometimes five in a week-describing his experiences as a war correspondent, his observations of life in wartime Europe, and his longing for her.
Betsy Cronkite carefully saved the letters, copying many to circulate among family and friends. More than a hundred of Cronkite's letters from 1943-45 (plus a few earlier letters) survive. They reveal surprising and little known facts about this storied public figure in the vanguard of "The Greatest Generation." They chronicle both a great love story and a great war story, as told by the reporter who would go on to become anchorman for the CBS Evening News with a reputation as "the most trusted man in America."
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"Beloved broadcaster Walter Cronkite had an interesting and exciting time as a foreign correspondent during WWII, but this collection of letters barely touches on those experiences. Probably due to censorship applied during wartime, the contents are mostly limited to his loneliness at being separated from his new bride and general observations about the privations of life in England and on the Continent. Narrator Michael Prichard delivers the text clearly at a brisk pace, but aside from the occasional wry comment or expression of frustration he has little range to work with. Despite Prichard's best efforts, the result is a lackluster audio experience that may interest "Uncle Walter's" most ardent fans but has little to offer a broader audience. M.O.B. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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