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Breaking News: A Stunning and Memorable Account of Reporting from Some of the Most Dangerous Places in the World Hardcover – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312371187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312371180
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,641,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Currently NBC news bureau chief in Tel Aviv, Fletcher offers a vivid account of his 30-year career as a war correspondent in the hot spots of the globe. At age 25, Fletcher grew bored with his BBC desk job and grabbed a position as a cameraman with a video news agency. Five days after he arrived in Israel for his second assignment, Egypt and Syria invaded. With no experience under fire, Fletcher found himself dodging bullets on the front lines—and loved it. Over the following decades, wherever there was a conflict—Rhodesia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, South Africa, the killing fields of Rwanda, the first and second intifadas—Fletcher covered the scene. While documenting his adventures, Fletcher also gives a riveting portrayal of the suffering around him and of the macho adrenaline junkies who make up his profession. Fletcher has a clear understanding of the ambiguities of his position as a purveyor of misery and death—for one story, he finds a Somali refugee near death and films her until she stops breathing. Fletcher's engagement with his own family's suffering in the Holocaust adds complexity to a narrative that is both fast-paced and moving. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“For decades Martin Fletcher has been the gold standard of television war correspondents, and his new book, Breaking News, does not disappoint. It is a real-life, cross-continent adventure story, told by a man who has spent his life bearing witness to the good, the bad, and the brutal. It’s a great and moving read.”
- Anderson Cooper

“Martin Fletcher has given us a stunning and memorable account of the risks, rewards, complexities, and enduring lessons of reporting from some of the most dangerous places in the world. His family’s Holocaust history frames his own eloquent insights and questions about the madness of the world that followed. I’ve known and admired Martin for more than thirty years, and this book makes me proud to call him friend and colleague.”
- Tom Brokaw

“A page-turner and a marvelous read. Martin, the ever-dashing war correspondent, cheated death so many times that he should have been hardened. Instead you meet a soulful man.”
- Connie Chung


More About the Author

Anderson Cooper called Martin Fletcher the gold standard of TV war correspondents, and he is rapidly building a new reputation as an author. He has won almost every award in TV journalism, including five Emmies, the du Pont, the TV Pulitzer, several Overseas Press Club awards and the Edward R. Murrow award for excellence several times.
He walked across the Hindu Kush mountains from Pakistan into Afghanistan with the Mujahideen, he was the only television reporter to join the Khmer rouge in Cambodia, the only reporter to enter the American embassy in Tehran when Iranian students held American diplomats hostage for 444 days.
He is now a Special Correspondent at NBC News, and devotes himself to writing books. His second book, "Walking Israel," won the National Jewish Book Award.

Customer Reviews

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I couldn't put this book down, and read it in one day.
Pat Nava
When the professor asked me how I knew, I replied with the only answer I could give, "because I was there"!
Spartan
Great book detailing the life and times of a foreign correspondent for various news networks.
A. J. Marchetti

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Spartan on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hanging my boots up last year after my final trip to Afghanistan was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life. It was done at the insistence of my daughter and my knees. I finally had to realize that I could be a liability to those around me in a war zone. With that in mind, I was quite intrigued when friends contacted me and asked if I would read and review Martin Fletcher's book, "Breaking News". Martin was starting his career with the Yom Kipper (October) War of 1973 just as I was ending my Navy Combat Camera days with the very same war. Martin's account of this war is "spot on"! I wish he had written about this many years ago when I got asked to leave a Political Science class in college for telling the professor he didn't know what he was talking about. When the professor asked me how I knew, I replied with the only answer I could give, "because I was there"! Where were you when I needed you, Martin!

"Breaking News" is a MUST READ for anyone interested in international conflicts and what it is like to cover these conflicts as a cameraman and as a broadcast journalist. In his 35 year career, Martin Fletcher has pretty much seen it all, and this book is his very personal account of what life is like in the day to day world of the Foreign Correspondent. Part of what makes this book great is that it does not focus on world leaders, and "their" stories. It focuses on the day to day struggles of the average person caught in the middle of these conflicts. It gives an excellent account of the journalistic integrity of one man working in the trenches of so many conflicts, Martin Fletcher.

I am always reluctant to give too much detail in a book review because I hate to give out "spoilers". Once again, I will just say, "READ THIS BOOK"!
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pat Nava on June 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put this book down, and read it in one day. Martin Fletcher takes you where most reporters won't go, or can't go. You'll read of the intense competition between the networks, and what ranks as "go" or "no-go" story; which amounts to the number of people dying or killed as being newsworthy.

Stories of fellow journalists who are killed and wounded (including his own first-person account), in attempts to bring the stories of war and its victims to our television screens. How Fletcher identifies with the suffering of the victims of war in Somalia and the "Ethnic-Cleansing" of the conflicts in Rwanda and Kosovo; with his own family's suffering in The Holocaust.

From the Arab-Israeli Wars to the present Palestinian struggle, to personal interviews with a warlord, suicide bombers and refugees (one very touching story of a young girl). There'll be stories that will make you laugh, cry, and some that will anger you. But they are all presented within a very personal and moving context that almost makes you feel as if you're right there, experiencing Fletcher's witness of history in the making. And that indeed, this is a very dangerous and evil world in which
live.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By kstme on March 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An amazing, POWERFUL, insight into the world of Martin Fletcher. I read the book in two sittings, four days ago, and I am still thinking about it. He tells his story in a 'mostly' chronological order, leaving me breathless at the end. It's an incredible journey and I am so thankful he took the time to tell it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Brand on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a very different, deeply-impressing account by a very special reporter - and if this book hadn't been thrust under my nose with the recommendation to read it, I would have assumed it was the usual set of star-turn anecdotes from someone who thought they were the star-turn. Not a bit of it. Unlike some, Fletcher is never, ever bigger than the news on which he reports.

If this was only the most brilliant account of exceptional, award-winning TV war-reporting journalism, which, incidentally, it is - then that in itself that would be something. But it's much more than that; it's about the moral and ethical dilemmas that people like Fletcher face daily on our behalf in reporting serious news - and, refreshingly, nothing to do with the soulless ephemerals of providing 'entertaining' so-called, 'news' features between adverts.

Fletcher is one of the last vestiges of conscience and soul in the digital age when it comes to serious news reporting. Breaking News is likely - and rightly - to be considered core-curriculum stuff for anyone considering serious journalism as a career - but it's also likely a must-read for anyone who wants to share Fletcher's personal 'take' - and the chance to share in his very human enlightenment - through his reporting of a truly extraordinary series of world events over 30 years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzy Tosa on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It would be tempting to label this book for those whose interests lie in journalism or history or world affairs. The truth is one doesn't have to have a background--or a future--in any of those things. This book is about our shared humanity. While Martin helped me understand how, when, and why conflicts erupted in certain parts of the world, and while I appreciated the dangers he faced in all corners of the globe, along with his incredible bravery or stupidity (sometimes both), I was touched most deeply by the stories of people simply trying to live their quiet lives. Racial, ethnic, and tribal differences don't exist inside the heart of a parent trying to save his child. The blood spilled is the same color whether it's shed by innocents caught in crossfire or determined young men who blow themselves up in the name of their beliefs. Martin's own journey from callous young reporter bent on scooping the competition, to a father who now struggles with the pain and suffering that come with the job, was the real story for me. He has spent a lifetime opening our eyes so we can't pretend not to know, only to have to close his own when his heart can carry no more.
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