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Point of Departure
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Point of Departure

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A classic 1967 memoir by one of the great journalists of the 20th century, Point of Departure collects James Cameron's eyewitness accounts of the atom bomb tests at Bikini atoll, the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the war in Korea, and vivid evocations of Mao Tse-Tung, Winston Churchill, and many others. Cameron, who was born in London in 1911, began his career in newspaper ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Granta UK (first published 1967)
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This book is a nice look at the "golden-age" of journalism when correspondents hopped around the globe to exotic places, drank in bars with interesting characters, and formed the opinions of masses back home. I like how he took this role seriously and was more interested on reporting what he believed morally correct instead of insisting on portraying both sides of everything as if they hold equal ground. This is precisely why the press is irrelevant today. People don't want to have to go fact-ch ...more
James Cameron, who died in 1985, was one of the best British foreign correspondents.
My favorite story about him is that he used to insert the phrase "...and a mad bugler rode past on a white horse..." somewhere low down in his copy before filing (usually by telex in those days), hoping that one day a sub-editor back home would miss it and allow it into the newspaper. To his regret, they always caught it.
Spectacularly insightful. Witty and self-deprecating, by far the best autobiography I have ever read.
This was the book my English teacher Ferdie Keon - (who could forget him?) - lent me in order to inspire me to write .... well, it hasn't worked so far (bado kidogo) but the book is still on my shelf (my own copy, I hasten to add!). The description of the detonation at Bikini Atoll is famous; it really hit home (no pun intended) at the time ... also the description of Tabora as the rock-bottom fundament of the world.
P. W. Lapwing
Although written it what may now seem an old fashioned style, the book recounts a full and fascinating life. Given the current situation in Korea, the author's account of his first hand experiences in the Korean War are particularly illuminating.
Rob Bailey
At times densely written, but it's an absorbing account of the life of a journalist who had a front row seat for many of the landmark moments of the 20th century. Highlights are his accounts of Korea, the atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll and Vietnam.
This is a perfect illustration of incise, truthful, war reporting which reveals Cameron to have been one of the most distinctive voices within the ranks of international correspondents at the height of the war in Indo-China. First-rate.
Some very important, and very well written reporting here, from some of the most crucial events of the 20th century.
I don't know many journalists who care to write this well today.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Cameron was born in London in 1911. After leaving school he worked as an office boy for the Weekly News. He worked for newspapers in Dundee and Glasgow before joining the Daily Express in 1940.

Cameron witnessed atom bomb tests in 1946. Shocked by what he saw he became
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