EXCERPT: 'My Paper Chase,' by Harold Evans

Photo: Book Cover: My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times

In "My Paper Chase" Harold Evans chronicles his life as a journalist. The former editor of the Sunday Times who eventually became publisher of Random House's trade division writes about his love for his profession and the passion that drove him to pursue it.

Read the excerpt below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.

Excerpt from 'My Paper Chase'

BOOK ONE: The most exciting sound in the world for me as a boy was the slow whoosh- whoosh of the big steam engine leaving Manchester Exchange station for Rhyl in North Wales. Every year as summer neared I counted the days to when the whole family — six of us then — would escape the bleakness of northern winters, taking the train for a week at the seaside, buckets and spades in hand.

I was nearly twelve the summer I saw the bodies of the soldiers scattered about the sands.

The soldiers were so still, their clothing so torn, their faces so pale, they looked as if they had died where they fell. And yet they had escaped death, unlike thousands of their comrades left on the battlegrounds of northern France; thousands more were on their way to years in German internment camps. The men I saw were the lucky ones, a few hundred of the 198,229 of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) who just days before in May–June 1940 had fought their way to Dunkirk. Twenty- four hours before we saw them, they had been on that other beach, being hammered from the air by Stuka dive- bombers, strafed by the machine guns of Messerschmitts, rescue ships ablaze offshore, and every hour the German panzers closing the ring.They were a forlorn group, unshaven, some in remnants of uniforms, some in makeshift outfits of pajamas and sweaters, not a hat between them, lying apart from the rows of deck chairs and the Punch- and- Judy show and the pier and the ice- cream stands. Most of the men who were evacuated had been sent to bases and hospitals in the south of England, but several thousand had been put on trains to seaside resorts in North Wales, where there were army camps and spare beds in the boardinghouses. The bulk of the men sprawled on the Rhyl beach were members of the Royal Corps of Signals attached to artillery regiments; some sixty- four officers and twenty- five hundred other ranks had been sent to the Second Signal Training Center at Prestatyn, which shared six miles of sand with Rhyl.

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