Friday, February 6, 2015

Author David Halton to speak at Matthew Halton High School

Matthew Halton preparing to broadcast in Sicily, Italy, August 20, 1943
Wikimedia commons photo
Author and journalist David Halton will speak at Matthew Halton High School on Thursday, March 5 at 7:00 pm to talk about his new biography about his father, Matthew, the school's namesake.  The book is titled “Dispatches from the Front: Matthew Halton, Canada’s Voice at War”.  The event is free and open to the public and copies of the book will be available for sale. The talk is presented by Pincher Creek & District Municipal Library, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, and Matthew Halton High School.

David Halton’s career in journalism spanned more than 40 years. He has been the CBC’s correspondent in Paris, Moscow, London, and Washington, interviewing presidents and prime ministers and covering wars and insurrections in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. From 1978 to 1991 he was the CBC’s Chief Political Correspondent in Ottawa, where he co-anchored federal elections and reported on four prime ministers. In 2005, he was the winner of a Gemini Award that cited his “well-deserved reputation for integrity and responsibility in reporting that brings credit not only on him but also on the entire Canadian television industry.”

Matthew Halton was arguably Canada’s greatest foreign correspondent. Born in Pincher Creek in 1904, he quickly ascended to a high profile in Canadian journalism. A year after joining the Toronto Daily Star as a cub reporter, he was in Berlin to write about Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power and, long before most correspondents, to begin a prophetic series of warnings about the Nazi regime. As senior war correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation during the Second World War, Matthew Halton reported from the front lines in Italy and Northwest Europe and became “the voice of Canada at war.” His gripping, passionate broadcasts chronicled the victories and losses of Canadian soldiers and made him a national hero.

For more than two decades, he witnessed first-hand the major political and military events of the era. He covered Europe’s drift to disaster, including the breakdown of the League of Nations, the Spanish Civil War, the sellout to Fascism at Munich, and the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia. Along the way he interviewed Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hermann Göring, Neville Chamberlain, Charles de Gaulle, Mahatma Gandhi, and dozens of others who shaped the history of the century.

Also revealed in David's book is how important Pincher Creek was to his father. The book also examines his father’s often tumultuous personal life. He unravels the many paradoxes of his personality: the war correspondent who loathed bloodshed yet became addicted to the thrill of battle; the loner who thrived in good company; and, in some ways most puzzling of all, the womanizer with a deep and enduring love for his wife.

Praise for Dispatches from the Front:

Authentic and wholly absorbing….With astonishing candour, intimate detail and powerful insights, David Halton unlocks the legend of his internationally acclaimed father. Riveting and revealing!” - Lloyd Robertson, CTV News/W5

“This is much more than one man’s memoir of his father. It is a tribute to one of Canada’s national treasures.” - Morley Safer, CBS 60 Minutes

"Like an iron filing to a magnet Matthew Halton was inexorably drawn to WW2's front lines - from North Africa to Berlin. Acknowledged as one of the very best correspondents covering the war his exploits at the fronts and his spirited carousing between battles has been painstakingly researched and colourfully recorded by his son David. As a result, viewing the war as seen by someone who described it as it was happening all around him makes for an extraordinary read." - Maj.Gen. (Rtd.) Lewis Mackenzie, former UN peacekeeping commander

“This is an ode to bravery and to journalism. Every Canadian should know Matthew Halton’s story.” - Wendy Mesley, CBC reporter/anchor

“At last a first class biography of Matthew Halton, the greatest Canadian foreign and war correspondent. Well-researched and well-written, this study by his son is frank and fair, and the book tells us much about Canadian journalism and broadcasting in the golden age.” - J.L. Granatstein, author of The Oxford Companion to Canadian Military History

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