Love and journalism in wartime China: An interview with Bill Lascher


An interview with the author of "Eve of a Hundred Midnights."

When journalist Bill Lascher received an old typewriter from his grandmother and was told it belonged to “my cousin the war correspondent,” he set off on a search to learn more about the life of Melville (“Mel”) Jacoby, who reported from the front lines of the conflict in China during World War II. Mel and his wife, Annalee Whitmore Jacoby, met many of the key figures of the day, from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to General Douglas MacArthur; worked as propagandists for the KMT; and ended up fleeing from Manila to hide in the caves beneath Corregidor with MacArthur’s troops.

In this podcast, Kaiser and Jeremy talk to Bill about his discovery of the fascinating life story of his first cousin twice removed: from Mel’s romance with his wife, Annalee, to his multimedia journalism, and from his harrowing brushes with the Japanese to his evolving attitudes toward China.

You can also read an excerpt from Eve of a Hundred Midnights and find a list of background reading materials here.


Jeremy: This app fuels the illicit trade of dumplings and pork knuckles in Southern California by David Pierson; The State of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence by Martin Meredith

Bill: The Expatriates: A Novel by Janice Y.K. Lee; Chinese Jews of Ancient Lineage Huddle Under Pressure by Chris Buckley

Kaiser: Cricket, a magazine for kids; Wonder by R. J. Palacio