OPC Book Night: Seymour Topping
To say that Seymour Topping has been an eyewitness to the major news events of the 20th century would be a vast understatement. He has virtually reported or edited the greatest stories of our time. Join us on Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. at Club Quarters to hear Topping discuss his vast career, extraordinary experiences and his latest book.
His new book On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent’s Journal from the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam [Louisiana State University Press, March 2010] picks up the story of the stories that he reported.
At the close of World War II, Topping — who had served as an infantry officer in the Pacific — reported for the International News Service from Beijing and Mao’s Yenan stronghold, before joining the Associated Pressin Nanking, Chaing Kai-Shek’s capital. He covered the Chinese Civil War for the next three years, often interviewing Nationalist and Communist commanders in combat zones. Topping was captured by Communist guerillas and tramped for days over battlefields to reach the People’s Liberation Army as it advanced on Nanking. Topping was the sole correspondent on the battlefield during the decisive Battle Huai-Hai, which sealed Mao’s victory and later scored a world-wide exclusive as the first journalist to report the fall of the capital.