Baldwin was the first Naval Academy graduate to win a Pulitzer Prize (1943). He was the first American print journalist assigned by a national newspaper to cover military and naval events full time in 1937.
New York Times journalist Hanson Baldwin was just about everywhere he needed to be during America's wars from 1941 to 1968. You could find him in a dusty jeep bouncing over the North African desert, sweating through a jungle on Guadalcanal or flying over South Vietnam base camps in a Huey helicopter - always composing insightful dispatches back to the Times about what he observed and experienced. Over a long career, Baldwin became one of this country's most respected military analysts. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his work in the South Pacific and broke stories about Cold War flash points like the Cuban Missile Crisis and the U-2 spy plane incident. As a US Naval Academy graduate and a former serving naval officer, he was intimately familiar with military affairs and firmly advocated a strong national defense. During the Vietnam War, he gave uncompromising support to what the author says Baldwin felt was "the right war in the right place against the right enemy." The Times management, and ultimately the country, disagreed, and he retired in 1969. The author, a professor at Minnesota State University, does an admirable job of chronicling Baldwin's life and work. This carefully written biography also details the ebb and flow of America's defense doctrines during those turbulent times, with an emphasis on how they were interpreted by one of its premier reporters.