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We Chose to Speak of War and Strife

In corners of the globe where fault-lines seethe into bloodshed and civil war, foreign correspondents have, for hundreds of years, been engaged in uncovering the latest news and - despite obstacles bureaucratic, political, violent - reporting it by whatever means available. It's a working life that is difficult, exciting and undeniably glamorous. We Chose to Speak of War and Strife brings us pivotal moments in our history - from the Crimean War to Vietnam; the siege of Sarajevo to the fall of Baghdad - through the eyes of those who risked life and limb to witness them first hand, and the astonishing tales of what it took to report them. These stories celebrate an endangered tradition. Where once despatches were trusted to the hands of a willing sea-captain, telegraph operator or stranger in an airport queue prepared to spirit a can of undeveloped film back to London, today the digital realm has transformed the relaying of the news - even if the work of gathering it in the field has changed little. Weaving the tales of the greats of yesterday and today, such as Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, Don McCullin and Marie Colvin, with extraordinary accounts from his own lifetime on the frontlines, this is a deeply personal book from a master of the profession, the most distinguished foreign correspondent of our time.
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From distinguished foreign correspondent John Simpson, a fascinating history of what it is to risk life and limb to bring home news of the troubled world

About the Author

John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor. In a BBC career spanning fifty years he has reported on major world events from all corners of the globe, and was made a CBE in the Gulf War honours list in 1991. He has twice been the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year, and has won three BAFTAs, the News and Current Affairs award in 2000 for his coverage, with the BBC News team, of the Kosovo conflict, and, in 2001, an Emmy for his report on the fall of Kabul. He has written four bestselling volumes of autobiography: Strange Places, Questionable People; A Mad World, My Masters; News from No Man's Land and, more recently, Not Quite World's End. He lives in Oxford.


Great stories, sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious -- Carmen Callil * Daily Telegraph, on 'Strange Places, Questionable People' * So vivid I could feel my heart beating -- Jonathan Mirksy * Spectator on 'Strange Places, Questionable People' * The range of his travels is staggering ... Never less than entertaining, sometimes moving and often funny * Sunday Telegraph on 'Mad World, My Masters' * Great stories sold with great gusto -- Jon Snow * Daily Mail on 'News from No Man's Land' * By far the most comprehensive and readable account to date -- Christina Lamb * Sunday Times on 'The Wars Against Saddam' * Superlative ... Tangy, sensuous prose ... The rationed, soot-black world of the late 1940s is beautifully evoked * Sunday Times on 'Days from a Different World * The grand maverick ... at his rumbustious, grumpy, humorous best * Daily Telegraph on 'Not Quite World's End' * Beautifully crafted, way above the normal ruck of telly memoirs -- Lynn Barber on 'Strange Places, Questionable People' and 'A Mad World, My Masters' * Observer * Deeply personal * The Week * His accounts of, among others, William Howard Russell, Clare Hollingworth, Martha Gellhorn and more recently, Brian Barron, Kate Adie, Anthony Loyd and Robert Fisk are by turns amusing, harrowing and poignant -- Christine Toomey * Times Literary Supplement *

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