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Beautiful Exile: The Life of Martha Gellhorn 0th Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595480470
ISBN-10: 0595480470
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This perceptive, well-researched and well-written book leaves one full of admiration for a woman so plucky, so witty and so talented." --The Literary Review

"Clear, dispassionate and admirably well informed about the larger context through which she moved so forcefully and for so long."-- The New Statesman

From the Publisher

Martha Gellhorn died in 1998, just shy of her 90th birthday. Well before her death, she had become a legend. As a reporter, she covered wars from Spain in the 1930s to Panama in the 1980s, and her travel books became classics. She took three husbands, including Ernest Hemingway, as well as many lovers, and her innumerable friends included Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy. She was a tireless campaigner against tyranny and deprivation, and she continued to the end to be outraged at the perfidy of governments and contemptuous of those she considered phony and insincere. Gellhorn always resisted the idea of a biography, and it was only after her death that her friends felt free to speak to Carl Rollyson about her; the result is a book that does justice to a woman who lived life to the fullest, lived it on her own terms, and, in so doing, became an icon of her times. Carl Rollyson is Professor of English at The City University of New York. His previous books include biographies of Rebecca West, Lillian Hellman, and Susan Sontag. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Backinprint.com (November 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595480470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595480470
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,687,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a nice complement to authorized biography of Gellhorn by Caroline Moorehead. The author goes over the same ground, but in much less detail and without access to most of Gellhorn's letters or private diaries. However, "Beautiful Exile" contains some needed analysis and criticism of Gellhorn which was solely lacking in the Moorehead book.

A definite minus is an error filled appendix and Rollyson's pedestrian prose style.

Probably best for Gellhorn fans who've read the Morehead biography and want a different perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Just about the weakest biography of anyone I've ever read - poorly written with little insight into the subject's character, this is a book that appears to have been thrown together with no care and little effort. An insult to the reader.

For a good read on Martha Gellhorn, try Caroline Moorehead's Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life - a much more in-depth look at the subject and a superior quality of writing. Ms Moorehead is clearly a writer who knows her stuff. (Check out her latest, Human Cargo, for a powerful work on refugees).
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Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I am the narrator of the audiobook version.

Having read this book three times, once before narration, once during narration and one more time listening to it during the editing and mastering of the audio, I have a good understanding of the book and its subject matter… and, in the end, I found her life and exploits even more fascinating that I had imagined.

This is the story of the long and amazing life of the most important female war correspondent of the 20th Century, Martha Gellhorn. She was born into a prominent liberal midwestern family and became close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt (she even lived in the White House for a short time). Her travels eventually led her to Key West where she met Ernest Hemingway.
They were together in Spain as War Correspondents in the 1930s, and were married during the extent of WWII.  Besides the Civil War in Spain and WWII in Europe shortly thereafter, they had their own fierce battle going on and this story holds no punches. I have read much of Hemingway’s works including several Hemingway biographies, but I still learned some new things about him and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn. But, this book is about much more than that brief wartime relationship. If Gellhorn had never met Hemingway, she still would have had an incredible life well worth writing and talking about. That’s probably the most important takeaway I got from this book.
As another reviewer pointed out, this book has some “much needed analysis and criticism” as the author wrote it independently of Gellhorn’s approval. I would imagine she had a certain image she wanted to protect. Her destruction all of her letters from Hemingway shortly before her death tells us that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Martha she is fun and I never get enough of her stories.
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