The book, by Columbia Broadcasting System correspondent Cecil Brown, was published in 1943 and has a small share of war time talk of 'why we fight'. This is overwhelmingly surpassed by his criticisms of how the war in the Pacific theater was run prior to 1943, both by the British and the United States. Most of his reports were radio broadcasts which were transmitted to America, but only after approval by British or Australian censors.
The value of the book is the authors experiences and first hand view of the fall of Malaya, and Singapore, which he left on a PBY weeks before the fall. This is also the only account I have read by a survivor of the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse by Japanese bombers, on the east coast of Malaya in December, 1941. Mr. Brown was on the Repulse. If Mr. Brown did not witness an event himself, he quotes names and dates for those who were there. He reports word for word how his radio broadcasts from Singapore and his cabled stories back to America were censored by the British, and how eventually the British authorities in Singapore muzzled him by pulling his press credentials and asking him to leave. The reason, his factual descriptions of the deteriorating situation were 'bad for morale', especially for the local Asiatics. On page 529 of the book, Brown quotes one of the last correspondents to escape Singapore, Harold Guard, of United Press, as saying near the end in Singapore, General Percival had called in all correspondents and said, "I am very much exercised by these alarmist reports you are writing. They are certainly unjustified. I can assure you that no Jap will set foot on this island." The next day the Japanese crossed the Straits of Johore onto Singapore Island in force. Brown also compares the British censors with those he dealt with in fascist Italy, and notes that only by reporting the actual situation on the ground will the folks at home take the measures necessary to win the war.
Mr. Brown mentions the scene in the Canberra just after reports that Darwin had been bombed by the Japanese: "I sat through part of that session at the House, listening in amazement to the inane, vapid utterings of the men who represented the people of Australia. They were concerned with pork barrel measures and incidentals of no importance even in peace time." He also mentions that ships sunk at Darwin had not all been unloaded of vital aircraft and parts from America due to a work stoppage and strike at the docks. Brown met with the Prime Minister of Australia and many other leading public figures in his work as a leading American correspondent.
It is an excellent book written when the outcome of the war was by no means certain, and captures the people and the mood of the times as the Japanese advanced towards Australia. It is written like no one, but someone who had lived through it, could do.