Douglas Launcelot Reed was born in London on March 11, 1895. At the age of 13 he began working as an office boy in a publishing firm. In 1914, not long after he began working as a bank clerk, he quit to enlist in the British armed forces. During the First World War he served in the infantry, and then as an aviator. He was twice wounded and was mentioned in dispatches.
At the age of 26, and "relatively unschooled" (as he once described himself), he began working for the London Times as a telephonist and clerk. In 1925, at the age of 30, he became a sub-editor.
From 1928 through 1935, he was the paper’s assistant correspondent in Berlin , where he witnessed first-hand the growing popularity of Hitler and his National Socialist movement, and the first years of the Hitler regime. His work during that period including reporting on the dramatic Reichstag arson trial of Communist leaders.
From 1935 to 1938 he was based in Vienna as the Times’ Central European correspondent, reporting, for example, on Austria’s incorporation into the German Reich. During those years he also reported for the Times from Warsaw, Moscow, Prague, Athens, Sofia, Bucharest, Budapest and other European centers.
In an obituary notice published in 1976, shortly after his death, The Times noted Reed’s distrust of the Hitler regime. Reed was, the paper remarked, “wiser than some of his countrymen in his view of the significance of Hitler and in his alarm at the policy of 'appeasement,' His was, in truth, a prophetic reading of the situation in Berlin and in Central Europe as he observed it from day to day.”
Reed left The Times in October 1938, almost simultaneously with the publication of his book Insanity Fair, which sold very well (including its US edition) and brought him world fame. He later wrote: "I let off all this pent-up steam and said just what I thought about the coming war and the folks who were letting it happen in a book, Insanity Fair." A year later came another bestseller, Disgrace Abounding, and then others, including Prophet at Home, All Our Tomorrows, Lest We Regret, and Somewhere South of Suez. Reed also found time to write four novels and a play. He also sometimes worked as a free-lance journalist, reporting, for example, as a war correspondent in Normandy in 1944.
Throughout his career, Reed provided readers with elegantly-crafted reporting and analysis based on seasoned but common-sense observations of the world scene. Although he addressed all the major issues of the day, it was his forthright writing on the machinations and impact of the Zionist movement that got him into trouble.
In Somewhere South of Suez ( London: 1950), for example, he wrote:
“... During all that period and to the present time, it was not possible freely to report or discuss a third vital matter: Zionist Nationalism. In this case the freedom of the press has become a fallacy during the past two decades ... When I came to America I found that this ban, for such it is in practice, prevailed even more rigidly than in my own country.... In daily usage, no American or British newspaper, apparently, now dares to print a line of news or comment unfavorable to the Zionist ambition ... The inference to me is plain: the Zionist Nationalists are powerful enough to govern governments in the great countries of the remaining West.”
In his next book Far and Wide (London: Jonathan Cape, 1951), Reed took a skeptical look at the much-hyped claims of six million Jewish wartime deaths. He wrote:
“During the Second World War I noticed that the figures of Jewish losses, in places where war made verification impossible, were being irresponsibly inflated, and said so in a book. The process continued until the war's end when the figure of six millions was produced (and the Arabs were immediately chastised). A transparently worthless estimate was not only being used for mass-delusion through newspapers, but even given official status.… No proof can be given that six million Jews 'perished'; proof can be adduced that so many could not have perished ...”
(For more on this, see “Douglas Reed,” by M. Weber http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n6p33_reed.html])
After the publication of Far and Wide, Reed was all but banned by establishment publishers. Still, he remained undaunted. His final book, The Controversy of Zion (Veritas [Australia] and Noontide [USA], 1985), provides a detailed and literate dissection of the origins and international impact of the Zionist movement, including its corrupting influence in Britain and the United States.
Reed died in Durban, South Africa, on August 26, 1976. He was 81. In its obituary notice (Sept. 12, 1976), his old employer, the London Times, criticized him for “a headstrong quality [and], a temperamental lack of moderation,” while praising him as “able, informed where his interest was aroused, [and] resourceful as a descriptive writer.”