05/20/2013 03:11 PM
BATON ROUGE – For more than a quarter of a century, award-winning journalist Henry
Bradsher reported stories from around the world. In this lively and engaging account,
Bradsher recounts episodes from a distinguished career that took him to the Himalayas,
the jungles of Bhutan, Kremlin caviar receptions, China’s Forbidden City, and the
battlefields of Vietnam. Throughout “The Dalai Lama’s Secret and Other Reporting Adventures:
Stories from a Cold War Correspondent,” available from LSU Press, Bradsher emphasizes
the unpredictability of a correspondent’s life and the strains, perils, and privileges
of standing witness to momentous world events.
In South Asia, Bradsher reported the Dalai Lama’s escape from Tibet in 1959 and the
last five years that Jawaharlal Nehru led India – with a side trip to hunt tigers
in Nepal with Queen Elizabeth. In Moscow he covered the downfall of Nikita Khrushchev,
and he later suffered the KGB bombing of his car in response to his tenacious reporting.
His incisive coverage from Hong Kong led Chinese officials to label Bradsher as “the
most despicable” journalist. But after a power shift, they welcomed him as the first
American journalist allowed to work in China in more than a year. Bradsher predicted
and reported Bangladesh’s independence struggle, and he worked in the Middle East,
covering Egyptian-Israeli peace arrangements.
Access to the events that shaped the Cold War also led to Bradsher’s meeting many
world leaders, including Nehru, Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Zhou Enlai, Richard Nixon,
Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. Although
Bradsher’s reporting riled officials in Moscow, Beijing, and even the United States
– prompting Henry Kissinger’s attempts to thwart the publication of his reports –
history has proven its accuracy. Bradsher’s relentlessness in his own work accompanied
a profound respect for fellow journalists worldwide who endanger themselves to keep
the public informed.
Bradsher, a correspondent for the Associated Press and the Washington Star, was a
Pulitzer Prize finalist for international reporting in 1972 and won the George Polk
Award for Foreign Reporting in 1973. Now retired, he lives in Louisiana.
Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013