Passion and Pearls that went together hand and hand

The Book

On the Front Line

Author

Marie Colvin

Year

2012

What it says about the book on the back  cover?

A passionate veteran reporter of global conflicts. Marie Colvin was killed in February 2012, covering the uprising in Syria. She believed in the pursuit of truth, and the courage and humanity of reporting.

Throughout her career with The Sunday Times Colvin insisted on sharing the risks of her subjects and broadcasting the human realities of war worldwide. This is a collection of her finest work, a portion of the proceeds from which will go to the Marie Colvin Memorial Fund.  On the Front Line includes her various interviews with Yasser Arafat and Colonial Gadaffi:  accounts from East Timor where her refusal to leave saved thousands of lives;  her terrifying escape from the Russian army in Chechnya; and the Sri Lankan civil war in which she was hit by shrapnel, leaving her blind in one eye.

Typically, however,  her new eye patch only reinforced Colvin’s selfless conviction and humour. Although scarred, she quickly returned, reporting on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and, lately the Arab Spring.

Intermediate and compelling, On the Front Line is a street view of the historic events that have shaped the last 25 years, from an award winning foreign correspondent and the outstanding journalist of her generation.

A portion of the the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to the Marie Colvin Memorial Fund mariecolvin.org/marie-colvin-memorial-fund

What made me pick up this book?

Marie.

I have admired this woman for a long time now. Her fearless nature reminds me of myself when I lived in Saudi Arabia. Delving into places that would usually be a considered a no-go zone for people and more so for a woman. Marie’s writing grabbed my attention too because she liked getting into the nitty gritty of a situation without loosing her femininity.

About the book

I got this book out from my local library. It is an excellent read and can be picked up, put down and picked up again. A reader can choose to read the book from cover to cover or if they choose to do so, or they can read bits from different sections which are broken up into three parts.  I have not purchased this book but would like to do so one day. It covers material that makes me think and thinking is good.  Part one covers the Iran-Iraq war, Middle East, Libya, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Chechnya and East Timor. I loved her article titles in here. Part two gets into parts of Africa, the jungle events in Sierra Leone and the peace deals made in Sri Lanka.  Colvin also returns to report on the Middle East and Iran and Iraq and does so again in Part three where Jon Swain writes on Colvin’s last assignment in Syria which cost her her life and Alan Jenkins who wrote “Reports of my survival may be exaggerated“, a poem written  by him as a tribute to Colvin.

Is this book worth buying?

On the Front Line is a collection of accounts and interviews from Colvin’s career in journalism which gives us a taste of what Colvin saw while reporting for The Sunday Times. Although Colvin is no longer with us, one can remember her for so many historic events which have shaped our history in the past 25 years. I am not going to write about my own experiences in the Gulf as there is already another website that I have covered that information in, but I know that within this woman breathed fire…

A fire that glowed to people like Gadaffi who awoke her from her sleep in the early hours of the morning to ask her to interview him. Colvin agreed and out of all the journalists that happened to be around, he choose her and a woman.

Courageous, exciting and one who had that passion many of us are inspired by.  Colvin wore pearls and wasn’t afraid to show them but sadly on 26 February 2012, that fire burnt out.

War is not the nicest of subjects  to talk about but Colvin keeps things simple, she shares with us the journeys that she makes “we drove down another deserted road from which we could see huge fires burning in the hills…” (Colvin, 2012).  If you want a book that teaches you about modern day war, this book is it. It is jammed packed with information and written in a way that makes you feel you are on that journey with Colvin. She was a true inspiration and her loss will not be forgotten. This book is captivating as it is heart wrenching, A true heroine of our time.  I am very pleased I got it out.

On the Front Line

Five stars

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