A vivid portrayal of six remarkable women who made history reporting on World War II.

THE CORRESPONDENTS

SIX WOMEN WRITERS ON THE FRONT LINES OF WORLD WAR II

An account of six pioneering women who worked as war journalists in World War II.

Mackrell’s chosen six came from different backgrounds though they all ended up writing for British or American news outlets. Some, like Martha Gellhorn, who was married to Ernest Hemingway; or Lee Miller, a popular fashion photographer and Vogue cover model, were already public figures. The others—Virginia Cowles, Clare Hollingworth, Helen Kirkpatrick, and Sigrid Schultz—made their marks with their intrepid reporting. All had barriers to overcome, many the result of outright misogyny (they constantly battled “sexually predatory officers or over-entitled male journalists”), and none of them backed away from dangerous assignments. Mackrell gives enough background on each to show how they became journalists—for most of them, well before the war—and how their initial beats were traditionally “feminine” subjects—e.g., society columns, fashion, or the “woman’s angle” on a topic of broader interest. Nonetheless, the persistence, determination, and daring led them to cover the Spanish Civil War (Gellhorn and Cowles), Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power (Schultz), or the experiences of frontline troops in Europe or North Africa (Hollingsworth and Kirkpatrick). Schultz, writes the author, “could not yet take Hitler seriously as a politician: he seemed to her a crude ‘fascist bugbear,’ a ‘demagogue drunk on his own word.’ ” This is incredibly rich material, and Mackrell makes the most of it, showing Gellhorn stowing away on a hospital ship to cover the D-Day landings or Miller taking a bath in Hitler’s tub, an incident immortalized in a famous photograph. The author also describes the reporters’ outraged responses to the concentration camps, which several of them saw shortly after the liberation. Mackrell concludes with a brief summary of the women’s postwar careers, capping off an exhilarating read packed with emotion and genuine humanity.

A vivid portrayal of six remarkable women who made history reporting on World War II.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-385-54766-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 19

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more