“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Eve of a Hundred Midnights – The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific

Posted: June 24th, 2016 | No Comments »

Eve of a Hundred Midnights is Bill Lascher’s excellent biography of the great China hack Melville Jacoby and his equally talented partner and wife Annalee. Both were great China Hands and crucial to foreign reporting of World War Two in China and the Pacific so a dedicated biography of the pair, their close friends in the China press corps of the period and their work is long over due….

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The unforgettable true story of two married journalists on an island-hopping run for their lives across the Pacific after the Fall of Manila during World War II—a saga of love, adventure, and danger.

On New Year’s Eve, 1941, just three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were bombing the Philippine capital of Manila, where journalists Mel and Annalee Jacoby had married just a month earlier. The couple had worked in China as members of a tight community of foreign correspondents with close ties to Chinese leaders; if captured by invading Japanese troops, they were certain to be executed. Racing to the docks just before midnight, they barely escaped on a freighter—the beginning of a tumultuous journey that would take them from one island outpost to another. While keeping ahead of the approaching Japanese, Mel and Annalee covered the harrowing war in the Pacific Theater—two of only a handful of valiant and dedicated journalists reporting from the region.

Supported by deep historical research, extensive interviews, and the Jacobys’ personal letters, Bill Lascher recreates the Jacobys’ thrilling odyssey and their love affair with the Far East and one another. Bringing to light their compelling personal stories and their professional life together, Eve of a Hundred Midnights is a tale of an unquenchable thirst for adventure, of daring reportage at great personal risk, and of an enduring romance that blossomed in the shadow of war.

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