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Travels with Myself and Another: A Memoir [Paperback]

Martha Gellhorn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 7, 2001
"Martha Gellhorn was so fearless in a male way, and yet utterly capable of making men melt," writes New Yorker literary editor Bill Buford. As a journalist, Gellhorn covered every military conflict from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam and Nicaragua. She also bewitched Eleanor Roosevelt's secret love and enraptured Ernest Hemingway with her courage as they dodged shell fire together.

Hemingway is, of course, the unnamed "other" in the title of this tart memoir, first published in 1979, in which Gellhorn describes her globe-spanning adventures, both accompanied and alone. With razor-sharp humor and exceptional insight into place and character, she tells of a tense week spent among dissidents in Moscow; long days whiled away in a disused water tank with hippies clustered at Eilat on the Red Sea; and her journeys by sampan and horse to the interior of China during the Sino-Japanese War.

Now including a foreward by Bill Buford and photographs of Gellhorn with Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Gary Cooper, and others, this new edition rediscovers the voice of an extraordinary woman and brings back into print an irresistibly entertaining classic.

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Editorial Reviews


"Gellhorn is incapable of writing a dull sentence."—The Times (London)

About the Author

Martha Gellhorn published five novels and seven prize-winning collections of her explosive journalism. Her career spanned several decades: She covered the 1937–38 war in Spain, sent dispatches from the front in World War II and followed the trail of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, and reported on the conflicts in Vietnam in 1966 and in Israel in 1967. Gellhorn died in 1998 at the age of eighty-nine.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1 edition (May 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585420905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585420902
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traveling with a world class traveler June 26, 2000
This wonderful travelogue of "bad trips" to politically important places takes the reader on an incredible range of journeys to many world hot and "cold" war spots. China and a meeting with Communist leaders in hiding during WWII (with the writer's then husband (Ernest Hemingway) looming large but quietly in the background and a poignant trip to an aging Russian writer in the days of Soviet rule transport us through time and space. Martha Gellhorn, as journalist and fiction writer, needs to be "recovered" with the very best of war correspondents of any gender and the adventuresome and unbelievably courageous woman travelers of the 20th century. The section on Gellhorn's travels in Africa, because it is so "honest" and forthright on matters of race, will strike some as politically incorrect, but her descriptions of modes of transport, race, missionaries and the search for exotic animals are among the most vivid anywhere. This book moves the reader -- through time and space, brain and heart.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Traveling history and women's memoir with Martha Gellhorn September 20, 2008
"Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival." So Martha Gellhorn introduces her travel memoir of her most memorable horror journeys in an entertaining and historical book, Travels with Myself and Another.

I found this book a few years ago while browsing at Barnes and Noble. I rarely buy books, but the brief description of Gellhorn as the third wife of Ernest Hemingway and rare female journalist during WWII was enough for me to add it to my exclusive biography collection. Gellhorn witnessed the invasion of Normandy as a stowaway after getting kicked off the press boat and wrote over a dozen fiction and non-fiction books in her 60-year career. Travels with Myself and Another is a collection of "the best of the worst journeys," originally published in 1978 and spanning a swath of history from the WWII Greatest Generation to the 1970's counterculture revolution.

"We are supposed to learn by experience;" Gellhorn reflects on her repeated travels in her introduction, "fat lot of good that does if you only remember the experience too late." We start out in WWII China with Ernest Hemingway as her unwilling "another," and end with her babysitting her helpless driver in East Africa. Her laugh-out-loud descriptions of lunches with everyone from Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang in war-torn China to Mrs. Mandelstam in the oppressive Soviet communist regime provide an entertaining romp through history with someone who has been there. Her casual mentions of the countries in Africa and realistic dialect of the natives of the Caribbean made me pick up an atlas. Her character as a true free spirit who hires her own boats against the advice of locals shines through in her tight and un-politically correct prose.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! September 9, 2001
By A Customer
One of the finest books I have read on the subject of travel, in a class with the best of Theroux and Chatwin. Take on your next trip along with a battered straw hat..!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel with Gelhorn in your suitcase October 25, 2010
It's as if you are riding beside Gelhorn on the same bumpy road in a broken down car full of dust, with the same crazy driver, clutching the seat and nashing your teeth a bit as she whispers in your ear all her astute and quite biased impressions better than you could ever dream up syourself.
Loads of fun and it will keep you from complaining ever again on a trip, which gawd only knows would be a God send!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too self-absorbed. November 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Too self-involved, but there is some humor in it that redeems what is otherwise a ho-hum book. I'd skip it, if I were you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, not great October 3, 2013
I didn't like this as much as others seemed to. She's brutally honest and must have been very gutsy, but I found myself skipping huge sections of the book. The section on her and "UC's" (unwilling companion i.e., Hemingway) trip to China in WW2 as war correspondents was of such unrelieved misery that it become boringly repetitive, except for one hilarious scene with UC. Ditto a section about running around in the Caribbean in WW2 looking for German u-boats (!), double-ditto a section on West Africa, when she was trying to cross the continent more or less along the equator. The African section becomes more interesting when she's in Kenya, and a final section about a trip to Russia during the 50"s (I think) were better.

I think my problem with Gellhorn is; she's not interested, much, in history; she's not too interested in context; she's not interested in politics and she's absolutely not interested in telling you about any local lore or who some of the people she refers to really are- Hemingway, and the woman she visits in Russia, for example. She's not much interested in letting you into her head, either, and seems disinterested in the locals she meets. If you cut all that out of a travel book, what's left? "I went here, I did this, then I went over there and did that." Boring and repetitive after awhile, at least for me.

I can see why others like her, she writes as if you're in the car, train, plane whatever with her, but this book didn't do it for me. A brave, bold woman, not such a great writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Mates May 2, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Martha Gellhorn doesn't use Ernest Hemingway's name when she is writing about travels she made with him, but by the time I finished my last adventure with her, I realized he'd been in the entire book, on every one of her journeys, and not because of her writing style. It is very different than his. It was the way she wrote of him, when she did, which was rare, but it was so powerful, I could actually feel the touch of one soul mate to another. Gellhorn is captivating, bold, reckless, romantic, and deeply, powerfully, and hypnotically inspired to help the world. And, she writes it all so perfectly. I will read this book again and again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Martha Gellhorn in places no one ever goes.
WE know she traveled with Ernest Hemingway. Why the author used other initals through out the travels in China was confusing .
Published 13 days ago by Mary LaFon
5.0 out of 5 stars Super writing and exciting accounts
Whole set of trips and happenings,very well written and keeps one wishing for more. She was one heck of a reporter and traveler. Highly recommended by me!!~.
Published 1 month ago by Joe Maloney
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into the way it was
Gellhorn was top notch! Her style of no frills writing puts you right there. You can see it, hear it, smell it and feel every moment. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Karen
2.0 out of 5 stars complaints and more complaints
If you ever wanted to read a book on why not to travel...this is the book. A few spots where she was enjoying herself, but the entire book is just complaining about... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mac B. Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Belinda Carlisle for recommending this one.
LOVE. THIS. BOOK!!! The world makes so much more sense to me after reading this book! Best book I've read in more than 20 years. Read more
Published 4 months ago by R. Hanger
5.0 out of 5 stars She was an amazing woman.
I loved her independence and was most impressed with her ability to get to the places she wanted to--her courage and tenacity--quite and woman.
Published 5 months ago by Lois E Marshall
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating tales marvelously told
These cover only a small part of her travels in the world; these are more personal rather than strictly journalistic. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Culturally curious
3.0 out of 5 stars Giving it away……..
See the movie, Hemingway and Gelhorn. This is tedious. I bought it for book club possibility but not enough there there.
Published 7 months ago by Pioneer
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read.
Gelhorn spins a good story/memoir. The book has five different travel stories, each in it own chapter. Her writing is excellent and she weaves her tales well. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marc
4.0 out of 5 stars Pessimistic feminist travels the world
Love, love Martha Gelhorn and her disdain and passion for travel. Fascinating account of travel pre-WWII. My new travel heroess.
Published 10 months ago by Valorie Roper
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