A Twentieth-century Life

Book - 2003
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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 in first-rate travel writing and fiction. A tall, glamorous blonde, she made friends easily-among the boldface names that populated her life were Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, and H. G. Wells-but she was as incapable of settling into comfortable long-term relationships as she was of sitting still, and happiness often eluded her despite her professional success. Both of her marriages ended badly-the first, to Ernest Hemingway, publicly so.

Drawn from extensive interviews and with 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.
Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2003
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805065534
Branch Call Number: B GellhornMoorehe
Characteristics: 463 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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Oct 15, 2013

After I viewed the HBO film "Hemingway & Gellhorn", I immediately read Moorehead's biography of Martha Gellhorn. I can't believe I hadn't heard of Gellhorn before 2013 - she was an absolutely amazing woman who accomplished more by her mid-twenties than most do in a life time. She was still at it into her 80's and shows just how much we can achieve, regardless of age. My one drawback is that I didn't like the biographer. Moorehead had a annoying tendency to introduce major historical characters without bothering with an explanation (i.e. St. Exupery in Spain) whereas on other occasions she writes chapters of great length with no weight. Nonetheless it's a compelling read.

Jun 24, 2012

Very good bio. We knew her as one of Hemingway's wives but he played such a small part in Gellhorn's life.


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