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A Grand Way to Chronicle a War

The Lure of Paris's Hotel Scribe in World War II

by Ronald Weber

If you were a war correspondent covering the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, you had a dirty, exhausting, and dangerous job—unless you worked out of the Hotel Scribe in Paris. The Scribe, in this instance aptly named, was Allied press headquarters after the liberation of Paris. It became a clearing house for all the war news that flowed from Europe as the Allied armies drove into Germany. In its comfortable rooms with hot baths, its restaurants at below-black-market prices, and especially its mahogany-paneled basement bar, newsmen could be found at work and play. Through the Scribe’s portals passed the cream of wartime journalism—Janet Flanner and Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell and William Saroyan, Edward R. Murrow and Howard K. Smith, Irwin Shaw and Malcolm Muggeridge, A. J. Liebling and William L. Shirer, Walter Kerr and Robert Capa—as well as the foot soldiers of newspapers, magazines, wire services, and film. They helped make the Scribe a story in itself with their incessant demands for news, their carping about military censorship, their complaints about headquarters staff, and their after-hours pleasures. Ronald Weber describes the fascinating scene behind the front lines.

A Grand Way to Chronicle a War details:

ISBN: 978-1-937853-79-2

Words: 20,305

Pages: 45

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Tags:  World War II - Reporting - Press Coverage - Invasion of Europe - Liberation of Paris - Scribe Hotel - Edward R. Murrow - Harry Butcher - George Orwell - A.J. Liebling - William L. Shirer - Robert Capa - Ernest Hemingway - Irwin Shaw - Howard K. Smith - Charles Collingwood - Edward Kennedy - Lee Miller