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In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin

In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin

Lindsey Hilsum


Hard to think of a better way to tackle the life of such a complex individual in such complex circumstances. This is an excellent read both for its subject matter and for the general experience of war reporting.

I don't think we ever really get to the bottom of Marie Colvin's complexity. though. Perhaps that's inevitable at such a short distance from the events. Lindsey Hilsum avoids the facile explanations (daddy issues, thrill-seeking), but is left with very little else. She (Hilsum) seems to think that the same basic issues drove both Colvin's reporting and her self-destructive personal life that repeated a pattern of unsuitable men: she even shows how Colvin herself knew this was happening and yet seemed unable to escape the pattern. But as to what drove Colvin to the extremes she went to, reporting on stories that even other war reporters thought were too risky, remains in the shade for now at least.

4/5. Finished 21 September 2020.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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