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.