Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life

Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life

by Caroline Moorehead

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Overview

The first major biography of legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn casts "a vivid spotlight on one of the most undercelebrated women of the 20th century" (Entertainment Weekly)

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; her wartime dispatches rank among the best of the century. From her birth in St. Louis in 1908 to her death in London in 1998, the tall, glamorous blonde passed through Africa, Cuba, Panama, and most of the great cities of Europe. She made friends easily-among them Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, and H. G. Wells-but happiness often eluded her despite her professional success: both of 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805076967
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/12/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 422,243
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.11(d)

About the Author

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.

Read an Excerpt

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 to Europe. Vogue obligingly commissioned her to write an article on "Beauty Problems of the Middle-Aged Woman," which involved acting as a guinea pig for a new experimental skin treatment. (It ruined her skin, she told a friend years later, but it got her to Spain.)

There was nothing now to keep her. Before boarding her ship, she wrote to Mrs. Barnes, a family friend in St. Louis: "Me, I am going to Spain with the boys. I don't know who the boys are, but I am going with them."

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