- Tapa blanda: 366 páginas
- Editor: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; Edición: Reprint, Subsequent (12 de enero de 1994)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0871132117
- ISBN-13: 978-0871132116
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1 opinión de cliente
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº14.238 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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The Face of War (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 12 ene 1994
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This volume collects Gellhorn's global reportage from the Spanish Civil War to the current troubles in Central America. Whether recording the smell of summer grass over Normandy beaches or the suspended daily life of the mother of a "disappeared" Salvadoran, her passionate allegiance to truth shines throughout the work.
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On pp. 151-152, Ms. Gellhorn writes "On the night of New Year's Day, I thought of a wonderful New Year's resolution for the men who run the world: get to know the people who only live in it."
This was something she wrote on the first day of January, 1945, which was over 68 years ago. Things haven't changed much since then -- as Ms. Gellhorn predicted they wouldn't in her coverage of conflicts from the Spanish Civil War up to and through Reagan's interventions in both El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Before I ran across Ms. Mandelstam's suggestion, I originally thought of titling my review "Read this book at your own risk!" -- or "Read this book and weep."
Why? Because I suspect you'll feel a similar shame while reading it. Shame as an American, certainly. But also shame as a human being. The history of our species is not a pretty one. And THE FACE OF WAR begins only with the Spanish Civil War!
Martha Gellhorn is no knee-jerk liberal. She's a solid, unflinching liberal -- by conviction. And her conviction is the result of first-person observation, investigation and inquiry. In other words, not of hearsay or conjecture.
At the end of May, I read and reviewed Naomi Klein's THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. In my opinion, that book could sit side by side with this one on the same shelf of woe. Both women are profoundly competent journalists. Both are the kind of journalist we need more of -- unflinching, compassionate and, above all (for those who'd heed their prophetic words), intelligent.
I'll risk making the same recommendation I made with THE SHOCK DOCTRINE. Buy this book and read it cover to cover! As with Ms. Klein's book, we're talking history; but we're also talking (almost) current events. And although Martha Gellhorn is now dead, I feel certain that if she were still alive, she'd be observing, investigating, inquiring and writing about similar atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq. After all, was George W. Bush's "shock and awe" qualitatively different from the Nazi doctrine of Schrecklichkeit ("frightfulness")?
Since I assume this review will be read -- if at all -- by Americans, I'll conclude it with a quote from p. 281 that speaks to us most directly: "(i)t is not easy to be the citizen of a Superpower, nor is it getting easier. I would feel isolated with my shame if I were not sure that I belong, among millions of Americans, to a perennial minority of the nation(: t)he obstinate bleeding hearts who will never agree that might makes right and (who) know that if the end justifies the means, the end is worthless."
R. I. P. at last, Ms. Gellhorn. You've earned it.
Martha Gellhorn wasn't a war correspondent out for scoops, like those who wrote for daily papers; in fact some of the articles collected here were killed by her editors. Like A.J. Liebling, she had the leisure to craft her stories, and that shows.
Her politics always leaned to the left, and (again unlike newspaper reporters) she didn't hesitate to take sides. In the Spanish Civil War she was on the Republican side, of course; toward the end of her career she was active in opposing the Reagan administration's involvement in Nicaragua. Her writing sometimes veers into polemic, but she did it well.
As a war correspondent she was certainly sui generis. In the best sense. A remarkable person, and the book is a good read.