Last Call at the Hotel Impe­r­i­al: The Reporters Who Took on a World at War

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

In the 1920s and 1930s, a close-knit band of Amer­i­can reporters raised the alarm about the rise of fas­cism on the Euro­pean con­ti­nent. They were glam­orous, gut­sy, and irrev­er­ent to the bone. Last Call at the Hotel Impe­r­i­al is the extra­or­di­nary sto­ry of John and Frances Gun­ther, H. R. Knicker­bock­er, Vin­cent Sheean, and Dorothy Thomp­son. In those tumul­tuous years, they land­ed exclu­sive inter­views with Hitler and Mus­soli­ni, Nehru and Gand­hi, and helped shape what Amer­i­cans knew about the world.

World­wide celebri­ties in their day, they are large­ly for­got­ten, but at the time, the work of Gun­ther, Knicker­bock­er, Sheean, and Thomp­son in call­ing atten­tion to anti-Semi­tism earned them the admi­ra­tion of many Amer­i­can Jews. Thomp­son was the first Amer­i­can reporter kicked out of Third Reich, both for her sar­don­ic com­ments about Hitler and her brave report­ing about vio­lence against Jews. From this cir­cle of friends came both con­tro­ver­sial report­ing about Zion­ism (Sheean and Thomp­son) as well as the lead­er­ship of the Emer­gency Com­mit­tee to Save the Jews of Europe (Frances Fine­man Gunther).”

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