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Waugh in Abyssinia (From Our Own Correpondent)
Scoop is the closest thing foreign correspondents have to a bible. They swear by—and along with generations of general readers laugh at—the zany antics of reporters in fictional Ishmaelia. Few readers, however, are acquainted with Waugh’s memoir of his stint as a London Daily Mail correspondent in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) during the Italian invasion in...
Scoop is the closest thing foreign correspondents have to a bible. They swear by—and along with generations of general readers laugh at—the zany antics of reporters in fictional Ishmaelia. Few readers, however, are acquainted with Waugh’s memoir of his stint as a London Daily Mail correspondent in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) during the Italian invasion in the 1930s. An entertaining account by a cantankerous and unenthusiastic war reporter, Waugh in Abyssinia provides a fascinating short history of Mussolini's imperial adventure as well as a wickedly witty preview of the characters and follies that figure into Waugh’s famous satire. In a new foreword, veteran foreign correspondent John Maxwell Hamilton explores how Waugh ended up in Abyssinia, which reallife events were fictionalized in Scoop, and how this memoir fits into Waugh’s overall literary career, which includes the classic Brideshead Revisited. As Hamilton explains, Waugh was the right man (a misfit), in the right place (a largely unknown country that lent itself to farcical imagination), at the right time (when the correspondents themselves were more interesting than the scraps of news they could get.) The result, Waugh in Abyssinia, is a memoir like no other. AUTHOR BIO: John Maxwell Hamilton, a longtime public radio commentator, has reported in the United States and abroad for ABC Radio, the Christian Science Monitor, and others. He is dean and Hopkins P. Breazeale LSU Foundation Professor at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University and the author or coauthor of five books.
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