Reporter: Forty Years Covering Asia
Talisman Publishing, $42 hb, 384 pp
From childhood on a dairy farm in the flats beneath Mount Egmont, in New Zealand, John McBeth rose to become a senior foreign correspondent with the Far Eastern Economic Review, one of Asia’s most influential English-language news magazines. Like other old-school journalists, he asserts at the beginning of his highly entertaining memoir that no one can be ‘taught’ journalism; you are either born one, or not. So it proved in his case. A liberal arts education might have made the younger John a more reflective autodidact, but possibly not a more successful journalist.