Telegram from Guernica: The Extraordinary Life of George Steer, War Correspondent

Author(s): Nicholas Rankin

Biography | No Category | November 2020

On 26 April 1937, in the rubble of the bombed city of Guernica, the world's press scrambled to submit their stories. But one journalist held back, and spent an extra day exploring the scene. His report pointed the finger at secret Nazi involvement in the devastating aerial attack. It was the lead story in both "The Times" and the "New York Times", and became the most controversial dispatch of the Spanish Civil War. Who was this Special Correspondent, whose report inspired Picasso's black-and-white painting Guernica - the most enduring single image of the twentieth century - and earned him a place on the Gestapo Special Wanted List? George Steer, a 27-year-old adventurer, was a friend and supporter of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I. He foresaw and alerted others to the fascist game-plan in Africa and all over Europe; initiated new techniques of propaganda and psychological warfare; saw military action in Ethiopia, Spain, Finland, Libya, Egypt, Madagascar and Burma; married twice and wrote eight books. Without Steer, the true facts about Guernica's destruction might never have been known.
In this exhilarating biography, Nicholas Rankin brilliantly evokes all the passion, excitement and danger of an extraordinary life, right up to Steer's premature death in the jungle on Christmas Day 1944.


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The incredible and thrilling true story of the embedded journalist who revealed the connection between the Spanish Civil War and the Nazis.

Nicholas Rankin spent twenty years broadcasting for BBC World Service where he was Chief Producer and won two UN awards. He is the author of Dead Man's Chest, Telegram from Guernica and the bestselling Churchill's Wizards, the story of British intelligence in the two World Wars.

General Fields

  • : 9780571298860
  • : Faber & Faber, Limited
  • : Faber & Faber, Limited
  • : October 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nicholas Rankin
  • : Paperback
  • : 416