The great American exodus to Paris after World War I included not only writers and artists but journalists. They came by the score, the raw and the accomplished, and in their baggage most carried the dream of eventually becoming poets, short-story writers, or novelists. Meanwhile Paris offered them an overwhelming advantage (coupled with a favorable postwar exchange rate and freedom from Prohibition) by providing jobs that enabled them to remain abroad for extended periods. With the war, American news activity had shifted from London to Paris. The city was now — as one of the arriving newspapermen called it — "the centre of American journalism in Europe," with jobs available on English-language newspapers and magazines, with news services and the foreign bureaus of American publications, and as freelancers of various sorts of writing for a Europe-hungry audience back home. News of Paris recaptures the colorful, often zany world of Paris-American journalists during the glory days of the expatriate period. It does so by concentrating on the lives of such figures as Ernest Hemingway, James Thurber, Henry Miller, Elliot Paul, William L. Shirer, Dorothy Thompson, Janet Flanner, and Eric Sevareid, and on the life of the major newspapers, including the Herald and the Tribune. Others populating its pages include Harold Stearns, Paul Scott Mowrer, Bill Bird, Vincent Sheean, Waverley Root, Eugene Jolas, Martha Foley, Whit Burnett, Ned Calmer, and A. J. Liebling. Ronald Weber aims to add journalists to their rightful place in the story of Americans in Paris at the fabled time when, as Gertrude Stein said, Paris was where the twentieth century was. But in producing this charming, delightfully entertaining book, Mr. Weber has given panache to his purpose. With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs and drawings.
Ronald Weber is professor emeritus of American studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has also written America in Change, The Literature of Fact, and Hired Pens. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana.