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Of Fortunes and War: Clare Hollingworth, first of the female war correspondents

Patrick Garrett

4 Reviews

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Biography: historical, political & military, Prose: non-fiction

The biography of acclaimed 20th century journalist Clare Hollingworth who scooped the outbreak of World War 2.

'Unputdownable' Alexander McCall Smith
'One of the most unforgettable journalists I have ever met' Chris Patten
'She was a pioneer' Kate Adie OBE

After an illustrious career spanning the 20th century legendary journalist Clare Hollingworth died in Hong Kong aged 105 in January 2017. She was famous for getting 'the scoop of the century': the outbreak of the Second World War. From witnessing the first aerial bombings against England in the First World War, through Hitler's Blitzkrieg, Clare's resume included desert war in North Africa, civil war in Greece, terrorism in Jerusalem, naming Philby as the Third Man, and guerrilla warfare in Vietnam and Borneo.

She had an uncanny ability to make headlines throughout her century-long life. And although her style of journalism was very different from the 24-hour breaking rolling news we have today, the need for detailed eye-witness reporting seems even more important today as we face an onslaught of fake news and alternative facts.

The story is not just about news and war however: through access to family papers and personal accounts, her great-nephew Patrick Garrett been able to show Clare in three dimensions, explain her life and loves, and show her more than just a war journo who dealt with the pressures of life as a correspondent - decades before women were routinely accepted in this role.

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Praise for Of Fortunes and War: Clare Hollingworth, first of the female war correspondents

  • She was regarded by everyone as the most formidable foreign correspondent around, not just of women but out of everyone - John Humphrys

  • Clare Hollingworth was one of the greatest reporters of the 20th century, and famously scooped the competition by reporting the German invasion of Poland in 1939 before anyone else did, for the Daily Telegraph - Charles Moore

  • Clare made an extraordinary impact in journalism. Who did the first interview with the Shah of Iran? Clare Hollingworth. Who did the last interview all those years - 30 - 40 - years later, after he fell? Clare Hollingworth. And she was the only person he wanted to speak to. And that's really the measure of the woman - John Simpson CBE

  • Clare Hollingworth was a remarkable journalist, an inspiration to all reporters but in particular to subsequent generations of women foreign correspondents - Chris Evans, editor, Daily Telegraph

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