Monday, October 01, 2007

Seth Lipsky's 5 best books about newspapering

Veteran reporter and editor Seth Lipsky selected a five best list of his "favorite books about newspapering" for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:

The Brass Ring by Bill Mauldin (Norton, 1971).

In Bill Mauldin's memoir, the G.I. cartoonist who created the soldiers Willie and Joe tells the story of the Stars and Stripes newspaper in World War II. "The Brass Ring" reprints many of Mauldin's famed cartoons, including one depicting two officers on top of an Alp, one saying to the other: "Beautiful view. Is there one for the enlisted men?" A Pulitzer Prize-winning illustration, from 1945, shows a group of bedraggled Yanks marching a group of bedraggled German prisoners in the rain and mud, with the caption: " 'Fresh, spirited American troops, flushed with victory, are bringing in thousands of hungry, ragged, battle-weary prisoners,' (News Item)." One of the cartoons--at a USO show, soldiers line up to get in while officers escort girls out a side door--is accompanied by Mauldin's priceless account of how it prompted a showdown between the cartoonist and an outraged Gen. George Patton, who accused him of demoralizing the troops. Mauldin also describes, in a moving section of the book, a military funeral in Italy in 1945 when Lt. Gen. Lucian Truscott turned his back on the dignitaries and addressed the dead.

Read more about Lipsky's list.

--Marshal Zeringue