2016年6月1日 星期三

Theodore White ( 1915-86,白修德). America in Search of Itself: The Making of the President, 1956–1980



1942年河南饑荒

影片改編自小說《溫故一九四二》,講述了1942年抗日戰爭背景下的一場悲劇。1942年河南大旱,此時戰爭正處於僵持階段,數百萬民眾忍受飢荒的痛苦中,背井離鄉,逃荒的旅程。


1943年3月底,採訪完畢的美國記者白修德向蔣介石彙報災情,蔣介石聲稱不知情,其實早在1942年8~9月河南剛開始有災時,蔣介石已從軍方得知消 息,他就召開了緊急的「前方軍糧會議」,採取了一些措施。他一方面減少河南的征糧數額,另一方面決定把西安方面的儲糧運往河南以備軍隊之用。眼見會報無果,白修德通過商業電台迅速發往了紐約《時代》周刊,引起巨大反響。當時蔣介石的夫人宋美齡正在美國訪問,頓時大怒,認為有損中國政府形象,由於她與《時 代》周刊老闆亨利·盧斯是老朋友,所以強烈要求盧斯將白修德解職,這一無理要求理所當然被盧斯拒絕。


Books Birdviews 書海: 美國的自我探索America in Search of Itself ...

2011年3月19日 ... 美國的自我探索: 總統的誕生(上下冊)西奧多.懷特著,美國在台協會附設今日出版社。1984. America in Search of Itself : The Making of the President ...Theodore H. White 白修德

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Contents

Theodore Harold White (May 6, 1915May 9, 1986) was an American political journalist, historian, and novelist, known for his wartime reporting from China and accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, and 1972 presidential elections.

 Reporter

Born May 6, 1915, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a Jewish lawyer named David White. Theodore H. White received a scholarship to Harvard in 1934, based upon his academic achievements at Boston Latin School, from which he graduated in 1932.
White graduated from Harvard in 1938 summa cum laude (Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was a classmate), with a degree in Chinese history, the first honors student of John K. Fairbank. He went to Chungking (Chongqing), China's wartime capital on a fellowship,later became a freelance reporter after being an adviser to Chinese Propaganda Dept for a short while. When Henry R. Luce, China born founder and publisher of Time Magazine, came to China the following year, he befriended White. White became the China correspondent for Time during the war. White chafed at the restrictions put on his reporting by the censorship of the Nationalist government and the rewriting of his stories by the editors at Time.
Although he maintained great respect for Henry Luce, he resigned and returned home to write, along with Annalee Jacoby, a best selling description of China at war and in crisis, Thunder Out of China [1]. The book described the incompetence and corruption of the Nationalist government and described the power of the rising Communist Party. The authors called upon Americans to come to terms with this reality. The Introduction warned “In Asia there are a billion people who are tired of the world as it is; they live such terrible bondage that they have nothing to lose but their chains.... Less than a thousand years ago Europe lived this way; then Europe revolted... The people of Asia are going through the same process.” (p. xix).
White then served as European correspondent for the Overseas News Agency (1948–50) and for The Reporter (1950–53)
He returned to his wartime experience in the novel The Mountain Road (1956), which deals with the retreat of a team of Americans in the face of the Japanese offensive. Although the Americans begin with a sympathy for the Chinese, their mission ends with the burning and destruction of a Chinese village.

Making of the President series

With experience in analyzing foreign cultures from his time abroad, White took up the challenge of analyzing American culture with the books The Making of the President, 1960 (1961), The Making of the President, 1964 (1965), The Making of the President, 1968 (1969), and The Making of the President, 1972 (1973), all analyzing at American presidential elections. The first of these was both a bestseller and a critical success, winning the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.[1] It remains the most influential publication about the election that made John F. Kennedy the President. The later presidential books sold well but failed to have as great an effect, partly because other authors were by then publishing about the same topics, and White's larger-than-life style of storytelling became less fashionable during the 1960s and '70s.
A week after the death of JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy summoned White to the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport to "rescue" her husband's legacy. She proposed the that White prepare an article for Life magazine drawing a parallel between her husband and his administration to King Arthur and the mythical Camelot. At the time, a play of that name was being performed on Broadway and Jackie focused on the ending lyrics of an Alan Jay Lerner song, "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot." White, a long-time family friend of the Kennedy's, was happy to oblige. He and Jackie collaborated on 1,000 word essay that he dictated later that evening to his editors at Life. When they complained that the Camelot theme was overdone, Jackie objected to changes. Kennedy's time in office was transformed into a modern day Camelot that represented, “a magic moment in American history, when gallant men danced with beautiful women, when great deeds were done, when artists, writers, and poets met at the White House, and the barbarians beyond the walls held back.” Thus was born one of the nation's most enduring, and inaccurate, myths. White later wrote that his essay is a "misreading of history. The magic Camelot of John F. Kennedy never existed."
On May 15, 1986 White suffered a sudden stroke and died in New York City. He was survived by two of his children, Heyden White Rostow and David Fairbank White.

Major books

Thunder Out of China (with Annalee Jacoby) (1946) reprinted Da Capo, 1980 ISBN 03068012800.
Fire in the Ashes (1953) 中國驚雷

The Mountain Road (Sloane (1958), reprinted with an Introduction by Parks Coble, EastBridge 2006 ISBN 15998800080) which was made into a movie starring James Stewart.

Breach of Faith : The Fall of Richard Nixon (1975) A comprehensive history of the Watergate Scandal with biographical information about Richard Nixon and many of the key players of the event.

In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (1978)

America in Search of Itself: The Making of the President, 1956–1980 (1982) Chinese translation , Taipei: USIS, 1984

Assessments

Both W.A. Swanberg in Luce and His Empire and David Halberstam in The Powers That Be discuss how White's China reporting for Time Magazine was extensively rewritten, frequently by Whittaker Chambers, to conform to publisher Henry Luce's admiration for Chiang.

William F. Buckley, Jr. a well-known conservative author, wrote an obituary of White in the National Review. He wrote of White that "conjoined with his fine mind, his artist's talent, his prodigious curiosity, there was a transcendent wholesomeness, a genuine affection for the best in humankind." He praised White, saying he "revolutionized the art of political reporting." Buckley added that White made one grave strategic mistake during his journalistic lifetime: "Like so many disgusted with Chiang Kaishek, he imputed to the opposition to Chiang thaumaturgical social and political powers. He overrated the revolutionists' ideals, and underrated their capacity for totalitarian sadism." [2]
In her book, Theodore H. White and Journalism As Illusion, Joyce Hoffman alleges that White's "personal ideology undermined professional objectivity" (according to the review of her work in Library Journal). She alleges "conscious mythmaking" on behalf of his subjects, including Chiang Kai-shek, John F. Kennedy, and David Bruce. Hoffman alleges that White self-censored information embarrassing to his subjects to portray them as heroes.

 References

Theodore H. White, In Search of History: A Personal Adventure (New York: Harper & Row, 1978). 561p. [ISBN 0060145994] Memoir of White's early years, training at Harvard under John K. Fairbank, experiences in wartime China, relations with Time publisher Henry Luce, and later tribulations and success as originator of the Making of the President series.

Thomas Griffith, Harry and Teddy: The Turbulent Friendship of Press Lord Henry R. Luce and His Favorite Reporter, Theodore H. White (New York: Random House, 1995).

“. . . The Crucial 1940's Nieman Reports.” Walter Sullivan The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University (Spring 1983) [3]
  • French, Paul. Through the Looking Glass: Foreign Journalists in China, from the Opium Wars to Mao. Hong Kong University Press, 2009.

References

  1. ^ "Pulitzer Prize Winners: General Non-Fiction" (web). pulitzer.org. http://www.pulitzer.org/. Retrieved February 28, 2008.
Papers of T. H. White: an inventory (Harvard University Archives) [4]. Includes a biographical notice. External links

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