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The first major biography of legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, whose life provides a unique and thrilling perspective on world history in an extraordinary time
Martha Gellhorn’s heroic career as a reporter brought her to the front lines of virtually every significant international conflict between the Spanish Civil War and the end of the Cold War. The preeminent-and often the only-female correspondent on the scene, she broke new ground for women in the male preserve of journalism. Her wartime dispatches, marked by a passionate desire to expose suffering in its many guises and an inimitable immediacy, rank among the best of the twentieth century.
A deep-seated love of travel complemented this interest in world affairs. From her birth in St. Louis in 1908 to her death in London in 1998, Gellhorn passed through Africa, Cuba, China, and most of the great cities of Europe, recording her experiences…[more]
Born Lucie Dillon, to a half-French mother and an Anglo-Irish father, her world was Versailles and the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. She married a French aristocrat, and narrowly survived the French Revolution, escaping to America at the time of Washington and Jefferson. Here, she lived a life of milking cows and chopping wood, having previously been accustomed to the lavish life of the French court. Returning to France prematurely, Lucie had to flee again, this time to England, where she took up sewing in order to support herself and her family.
Repeatedly in the right place at the right time, Lucie saw the Battle of Waterloo, the fall of Napoleon and the return of Louis XVIII, and the Restoration. She was an outstanding diarist and a remarkable woman, who witnessed one of the most dramatic and brutal periods of history, playing the part of observer, commentator and, often, participant. For the last years of her life…[more]
The word refugee is more often used to invoke a problem than it is to describe a population of millions of people forced to abandon their homes, possessions, and families in order to find a place where they may, quite literally, be allowed to live. In spite of the fact that refugees surround us-the latest UN estimates suggest that 20 million of the world’s 6.3 billion people are refugees-few can grasp the scale of their presence or the implications of their growing numbers.
Caroline Moorehead has traveled for nearly two years and across four continents to bring us their unforgettable stories. In prose that is at once affecting and informative, we are introduced to the men, women, and children she meets as she travels to Cairo, Guinea, Sicily, the U.S./Mexico border, Lebanon, England, Australia, and Finland. She explains how she came to work and for a time live among refugees, and why she could not escape the pressing need to understand and describe the chain of often terrifying events that mark their lives. Human Cargo is a work of deep and subtle sympathy that completely alters our understanding of what it means to have and lose a place in the world.