Hans Fallada is a pseudonym of Rudolf Ditzen, who was born in Greifswald, Germany, in 1893. Many of Fallada's works, including the posthumously published The Drinker, were about his life, which was rife with addictions and instability. Another subject of his works was his homeland Germany. Earlier works, including international bestseller Little Man, What Now?, show a Germany that would allow itself to become a Nazi nation under Hitler. Later works deal with the aftermath and guilt of this decision. He died on February 5, 1947, in Berlin.Before WWII , German writer Hans Fallada’s novels were international bestsellers, on a par with those of his countrymen Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. In America, Hollywood even turned his first big novel,Little Man, What Now?into a major motion picture. Learning the movie was made by a Jewish producer, however, Hitler decreed Fallada’s work could no longer be sold outside Germany, and the rising Nazis began to pay him closer attention. When he refused to join the Nazi party he was arrested by the Gestapo—who eventually released him, but thereafter regularly summoned him for “discussions” of his work. However, unlike Mann, Hesse, and others, Fallada refused to flee to safety, even when his British publisher, George Putnam, sent a private boat to rescue him. The pressure took its toll on Fallada, and he resorted increasingly to drugs and alcohol for relief. After Goebbels ordered him to write an anti-Semitic novel, he snapped and found himself imprisoned in an asylum for the “criminally insane”—considered a death sentence under Nazi rule. To forestall the inevitable, he pretended to write the assignment for Goebbels, while actually composing three encrypted books—including his tour de force novelThe Drinker—in such dense code that they were not deciphered until long after his death. Fallada outlasted the Reich and was freed at war’s end. But he was a shattered man. To help him recover by putting him to work, Fallada’s publisher gave him the Gestapo file of a simple, working-class couple who had resisted the Nazis. Inspired, Fallada completedEvery Man Dies Alonein just twenty-four days. He died in February 1947, just weeks before the book’s publication.
Dan Rather was born in Wharton, Texas, October 31, 1931. He attended Sam Houston State College at Huntsville, Texas, and earned his B.A. in Journalism in 1953. He went on to earn his Law degree from the University of Houston and South Texas School of Law. After graduation he became a Journalism instructor at Sam Houston State College and worked for United Press International, and the Houston Chronicle as a news writer, reporter, and news director. He joined the CBS radio affiliate KTRH in Houston in the mid-late 1950s. He became the director of news and public affairs for CBS television affiliate KHOU in Houston in the late 1950s to 1961. From 1961 to 1964 he was the chief of CBS's southwestern bureau in Dallas. In 1963 he became the CBS White House Correspondent, and two years later the chief of the CBS London bureau for a year. In 1966 he was a war correspondent in Vietnam and returned to a position as CBS White House correspondent from 1966 to 1974. In 1974, Rather became the anchor-correspondent for CBS Reports for a year before becoming the correspondent and co-editor for 60 Minutes until 1981. He has been an anchor for Dan Rather Reporting on the CBS Radio Network since 1977 and anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather form 1981 to 2005. In 1988 he became the anchor for 48 Hours and has anchored numerous CBS news specials. Rather is the recipient of the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters' awards for spot news coverage in 1956 and 1959. He has received numerous Emmy Awards for his outstanding news reports. In May 2007, Rather received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, for his lifetime contributions to journalism. Rather is also a columnist whose work is distributed by King Features Syndicate. On May 28, 2007, Rather compared historical events to events in the Star Wars films in the History Channel special, "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed". Rather continues to speak out against alleged influence in journalism by corporations and governments. At a recent conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sponsored by the group Free Press, Rather criticized both local and national news organizations, stating, according to reports, that there is no longer incentive to do "good and valuable news." Rather has since resumed his career with HDNet, a high-definition cable television station as a producer and hosts a weekly one-hour show called Dan Rather Reports as of October 24, 2006. Rather also has contributed as a guest on The Chris Matthews Show, and on The Daily Show. He has also formed an independent company called News and Guts Media.