Love, fame, war, and espionage


Hemingway on the China Front

His WWII Spy Mission with Martha Gellhorn

256 pages; 6" x 9" ; 14 B&W photos; 1 map

$17.95   $14.36
Available: October 2007
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Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn had no idea of what they would discover when they set out for Hong Kong, China, and Burma in 1941. The husband-and-wife team of celebrity literati intended to report on the China-Japan war while honeymooning in the romantic Far East. What they found was a maddening, intriguing, colorful world of dictators and drunks, scoundrels and socialites, heroes and halfwits. And their trip proved to be the beginning of the end of their marriage.

When the U.S. Treasury Department hired Ernest Hemingway as a spy in China in 1941, it awakened a new obsession in America’s most adventuresome author. The great literary man of action reveled in being a government operative, while his journalist wife championed the anti-Japanese resistance of Chiang Kai-shek. Hemingway on the China Front is the first book to track Hemingway’s progress as a spy in Asia during the war, defining his duties as he saw fit. Author Peter Moreira follows Hemingway and Gellhorn as they seek stories to file—and try to adapt to each other’s strong egos—in dangerous, uncomfortable, exotic places in the throes of war. Well-versed in Asian history and culture, Moreira also adeptly provides context of time and place. All fans of Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn will want this book.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

Peter Moreira has been a foreign correspondent in Hong Kong and South Korea for the South China Morning Post and Knight-Ridder. He is now a senior writer for the New York–based weekly The Deal. He lives in Nova Scotia.


“Moreira’s narrative sparkles with informative details that help make the book a solid and lively study of this hitherto largely untreated subject.”
North Dakota Quarterly, Winter/Spring 2009

"Moreira's well written and well researched book is a major contribution to the history of the era of the Second World War, and his travel sections flow like a good novel. . . .a must for Hemingway buffs."
Buzz Magazine

"Full of new information and fascinating details, Peter Moreira's book is proof that even the best-explored subjects can yield fresh interpretations and insights."
Caroline Moorehead, author of Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life

"Picking a celebrated author as a spy to gain privileged access to a secretive, duplicitous foreign leader displayed imaginative thinking of the type used by the OSS and CIA in their glory years. Hemingway on the China Front is an intriguing book that will be enjoyed not only by readers interested in Hemingway and Gellhorn, but also by intelligence buffs and students of World War II history."
Richard W. Cutler, author of Counterspy: Memoirs of a Counterintelligence Officer in World War II and the Cold War

"Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, 'There is properly no history, only biography.' Peter Moreira sheds new light on America's pre-war strategy in the Pacific through the biography of the early days of Ernest Hemigway and Martha Gellhorn's doomed marriage. Of interest to readers of Hemingway and Gellhorn alike, Hemingway on the China Front provides a more detailed account of their journey through China than any previous book."
Michael Coyle, professor of English, Colgate University

"A splendid book about what turned out to be the first days of the collapse of a fine American novelist."
Washington Times

"A major contribution t the Hemingway archive . . . a fascinating chronicle of how war correspondents often have to make moral compromises in their journalistic integrity."

"A fascinating chronicle of how war correspondents often have to make moral compromises in their journalistic integrity."
London (Ontario) Free Press

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