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Gellhorn

A Twentieth-Century Life

Caroline Moorehead

Holt Paperbacks

Whitbread Prize Finalist
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year
An Entertainment Weekly Best Nonfiction Book of the Year

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 professional 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 in impressive travel writing and works of fiction. A tall, glamorous blonde, she made friends easily—among them Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, H. G. Wells, and Marlon Brando—but she was as incapable of settling into comfortable, long-term relationships as she was of sitting still. Happiness often eluded her, despite her great professional success. Both her marriages ended badly—the first, to Ernest Hemingway, dramatically and publicly so.

Drawn from extensive interviews and exclusive access to Gellhorn's papers and correspondence, this seminal biography spans half the globe and almost an entire century to offer an exhilarating, intimate portrait of one of the defining women of our times.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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New York with Hemingway was not what she expected. In Key West there had been time for long flirtatious meetings, time to talk seductively about writing and political commitments. In New York they were always in a crowd, everyone drinking, rushing in and out, answering the telephone, going to the Stork Club and Twenty One. Martha was frantic herself. She needed papers for Spain, and with some difficulty persuaded her friend Kyle Crichton at Collier's magazine to give her, not exactly a job, but a letter identifying her as their special correspondent. Martha also needed money for her boat ticket
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REVIEWS

Praise for Gellhorn

"[Moorehead gives] us not just the usual account of the career and the public person but an intimate look at the private person."
-The Washington Post Book World

"Gripping . . . [told] with historical command and psychological insight."
-The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Caroline Moorehead

  • Caroline Moorehead is a distinguished biographer, book reviewer, and journalist. Gellhorn was nominated for the Whitbread Award for Biography and named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly and the San Francisco Chronicle. Moorehead will edit a collection of Gellhorn's letters and is also writing a book about the international refugee crisis, both for Henry Holt. She lives in London.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Gellhorn

A Twentieth-Century Life

Caroline Moorehead

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Holt Paperbacks

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