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“Herbert Corey’s Great War” gives insights into being a reporter in WWI


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Hidden in the archives of the Library of Congress were two memoirs of an American reporter, Herbert Corey who covered the World War I from its start in 1914 up through the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920.

He was the American reporter who covered the war the longest, from a full three-years before participation by the United States.

The memoirs were discovered by two authors, historians and journalists, John M. Hamilton, and Peter Finn.

They decided to edit the memoirs, annotate them with notes and footnotes and put the memoirs in perspective for a 21st Century audience.

Herbert Corey’s Great War: A memoir of WWI by the American Who Saw if All was released in June 2022 by the LSU Press.

It contains first-hand accounts of Corey’s adventures covering both sides of the war from the German frontlines to the trenches of the allies. He covered the angst and travails of the foot-soldiers and the war lives of non-combatants.

He viewed the war from nine European countries as he traveled for the Associated Newspaper chain.

Corey’s memoir reflects the many obstacles that reporters faced in covering WWI, especially censorship from the Allies.

He also was a keen observer of misinformation campaigns by the British and others to urge the Americans to get involved in the war.

John M. Hamilton is the Breazeale Professor of Journalism in the Manship School of Communication at LSU. He also is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and an award-winning author.