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Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada's Voice at War
Written by David Halton
Published by McClelland & Stewart


 

Seventy years ago, Matthew Halton was a household name in Canada. While he was a student in England, Lady Nancy Astor befriended him, providing entry to the political elite. He parlayed access into vital journalism, reporting in the 1930s from Germany where he foretold Hitler’s march to war; then from the battle sites of Al Alamein, Sicily, and Normandy. His vivid personal style gave authority to his work, mesmerizing CBC radio audiences. No hagiography, David Halton’s Dispatches from the Front is a loving but honest account of a father’s triumphs and failings, written in lucid, urgent prose.

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From the Publisher’s Summary: David Halton’s definitive biography draws on extensive interviews and archival research to shed light on the personal life and fascinating career of a remarkable Canadian figure. Originally a reporter for the Toronto Star, Matthew Halton, as Senior War Correspondent for the CBC during the Second World War, reported from the front lines in Italy and Northwest Europe, and became "the voice of Canada at war." His reports were at times tender and sad and other times shocking and explosive. Covering the flashpoints of his generation—from the war trenches to the coronation of the Queen—Halton filed a series of reports warning that the Third Reich was "becoming a vast laboratory and breeding ground for war." For a decade he chronicled Europe's drift to disaster, covering the breakdown of the League of Nations, the Spanish Civil War, and the Nazi takeover of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Along the way he interviewed Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Herman Goering, Neville Chamberlain, Charles de Gaulle, Mahatma Gandhi, and dozens of others who shaped the history of the last century.

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David Halton

is Matthew Halton’s son and one of Canada's most acclaimed journalists. Throughout his career, he was The National's Paris-based correspondent and the CBC's Moscow correspondent and later covered events in the Middle East and the war in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Gemini’s Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism.