This talk is about a group of American reporters who became some of the most celebrated foreign correspondents of the interwar era: John Gunther, Dorothy Thompson, H.R. Knickerbocker and Vincent Sheean. Between the 1920s and 1940s, they reported from hot spots across the globe, chasing two main stories: first, the rise of fascism and the coming of the Second World War; second, the challenge that anti-colonial nationalists posed to the European empires. Amid their reporting in Europe and Asia, they’d discover another story, too – this one about the relationship between inner lives and geopolitics.
Deborah Cohen is the Richard W. Leopold Professor of History at Northwestern University (USA). Her interests run the methodological gamut, from social science-inspired comparative history to biography. Trained as a modern Europeanist (with specialties in Germany and Great Britain) she has recently published on Anglo-Argentines and the history of family capitalism and on American foreign correspondents. Although her subjects have varied, a few thematic interests run through: state and society, the public histories of private lives, and material culture. Her book „Last Call at the Hotel Imperial“ is published by Random House (2022).