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Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II Hardcover – February 12, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Series: American History Classics
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517800756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517800751
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The only foreign photographer in the Soviet Union when Hitler's troops invaded in 1941, "Adolf Hitler's greatest enemy," the first journalist to enter the concentration camp at Dachau before American troops arrived to liberate it--these are descriptions of some of the courageous World War II correspondents who risked their lives to report on the outrage, devastation, and hope of war. What makes them especially notable is that they are all women. Penny Colman's remarkable book tells of some of the 127 women who defied the traditional gender barrier to become accredited war correspondents. Reporting on Iwo Jima, concentration camps, famous battles, and Nazi rallies, stellar writers and photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White and Clare Boothe Luce scooped many of their male colleagues, and gave the folks back home a real image of war. Breathtaking photographs, actual newspaper dispatches, and edge-of-seat descriptions of the near misses the correspondents experienced as they followed the war make this book the ultimate for girls in search of girl power inspiration. Penny Colman is the author of many award-winning titles, including Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II and Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America. (Ages 11 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-This chronological view, from the 1930s until the surrender of Germany and Japan, highlights some of the brave individuals who risked their lives to bring home fresh perspectives of World War II. In 1941, as the United States was about to enter the war, military policy prohibited women from covering combat. However, 127 of them managed to obtain official accreditation from the U.S. War Department as correspondents, finding ways to get where the action was. In Berlin, Sigrid Schultz heard gossip that Hitler consulted an astrologer and by visiting this person she got the scoop on his alliance with the Soviets. Lee Miller was a fashion photographer from Vogue whose photos of the first use of napalm in an air raid were seized. Martha Gellhorn, wife of Ernest Hemingway, reported on the fate of 1200 Jews in a concentration camp who learned they would be allowed to take a shower. The Germans pumped gas into the clean white bathrooms, Gellhorn reported, and the prisoners died in an agony we cannot know. Snippets of reporting and photographs are included from Margaret Bourke-White in Moscow, Dickey Chappelle in Iwo Jima, and many others. Black-and-white photos, reproductions of original documents, newspaper articles, and headlines add to the authoritative text that will be useful for history classes or general interest.
Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Penny Colman writes about illustrious and fascinating women and a wide range of significant and intriguing topics in her award-winning books for all ages. Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1944, she grew up in North Warren, Pennsylvania, on the grounds of a state mental hospital, where her father was a psychiatrist. In 1960, she joined a group and rode her bicycle (plus took a few train rides) across the U.S. In 1964 she dropped out of college, worked in a frozen food factory in Sweden and hitchhiked throughout Europe, including to Turkey and Greece. Between 1965-1970, she graduated from college and graduate school, got married, and had three very close-in-age children. In 1987, as her children were graduating from high school, Penny Colman embarked on a freelance writing career and has been going full steam ever since.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
During the second world war, over a hundred women obtained official accreditation from the US War Department as war correspondents, finding ways to cover combat to break major war stories. Where The Action Was tells their stories and some of the incredible lengths they went to in order to provide inside coverage during the war. Over seventy black and white photos pepper this account of their lives, achievements and courage: ages 10 and up will find it intriguing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue Jean Online on June 2, 2002
Format: Library Binding
..."There were many dead and many wounded but the survivors contained the fluid situation and slowly turned it into a retreat, and finally, as the communiqué said, the bulge was ironed out. This was not done fast or easily; and it was not done by those anonymous things, armies, divisions, regiments. It was done by men, one by one, your men." -Martha Gellhorn, writing on the Battle of the Bulge in 1944
Where the Action Was takes us on a journey through the past, looking at the pioneers of women journalists in action as they faced danger, death, and the images of war. Colman captures different moments throughout the war, from the very beginning, to Pearl Harbor, to the liberation of concentration camps, to the dropping of the atomic bombs.
The amazing tales of many talented women writers are accurately detailed, and they show us the adversities our female predecessors had to overcome for us women to be where we are today. Traveling as stowaways on boats, risking their lives to report the truth, disregarding orders given by military leaders, and being arrested all in a day's work for these stubborn and talented writers.
I'll bet you've never heard of Dickey Chappelle, Ann Stringer, Margaret Bourke-White, and Martha Gellhorn. Neither had I, until I read this book. Now I question the fact that none of this information is taught in class, or why these heroic, talented women must remain in anonymity. ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DWD's Reviews TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A well-written different view on the story of World War II

Published in 2002 by Crown Publishers (Random House)

World War II histories abound. Histories of the complete war, various theaters, biographies of units and single officers fill the bookshelves. I have seen books that look at the role of women in the war - the home front, as pilots, intelligence officers and so on. But, I have never seen anything about female war correspondents. I did not even know that there were female war correspondents - I simply assumed that the sexist attitudes of the day would have not allowed them to work.

Happily, I have been enlightened by Penny Colman. She tells the story of the war through the eyes of several female war correspondents - sometimes through direct quotes, sometimes through reproductions of the headlines of their articles that are placed throughout like in a scrapbook. The history of the war and the story of these war correspondents was woven together seamlessly and very well done. The pictures are either pictures of the women correspondents or pictures taken by them (or both).

Female correspondents were everywhere - at the taking of the Sudetenland by German, scooped the rest of the world on the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, among the refugees fleeing Paris, in Moscow when Germany attacked the USSR, in Europe, on Iwo Jima, there when concentration camps were liberated, in Italy and on and on and on.
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