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Under the Wire: Marie Colvin's Final Assignmentby Paul Conroy
Synopses & Reviews
Zero Dark Thirty meets 127 Hours—a riveting war journal from photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanied Marie Colvin (called by her peers “the greatest war correspondent of her generation”) during her ill-fated final assignment in Syria.
Marie Colvinwas an internationally recognized American foreign war correspondent who was killed in a rocket attack in 2012 while reporting on the suffering of civilians inside Syria. She was renowned for her iconic flair and her fearlessness: wearing the pearls that were a gift from Yasser Arafat and her black eye-patch, she reported from places so dangerous no other hard-core correspondent would dare to go. Paul Conroy, who had forged a close bond with Colvin as they put their lives on the line time and time again to report from the world’s conflict zones, was with her when she died. Under the Wire is Paul’s gripping, visceral, and moving account of their friendship and the final year he spent alongside her. When Marie and Paul were smuggled into Syria by rebel forces, they found themselves trapped in one of the most hellish neighborhoods on earth. Fierce barrages of heavy artillery fire rained down on the buildings surrounding them, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians. Marie was killed by a rocket which also blew hole in Paul’s thigh big enough to put his hand through. Bleeding profusely, short of food and water, and in excruciating pain, Paul then endured five days of intense bombardment before being evacuated in a daring escape in which he rode a motorbike through a tunnel, crawled through enemy terrain, and finally scaled a 12-foot-high wall. Astonishingly vivid, heart-stoppingly dramatic and shot through with dark humor, in Under the Wire Paul Conroy shows what it means to a be a war reporter in the 21st century. His is a story of two brave people drawn together by a shared compulsion to bear witness.
"News reporter Marie Colvin, an American war correspondent for The Sunday Times in London, died in February 2012 in a Syrian attack. Conroy, a British photojournalist, was with Colvin on assignment at the time of her death and recounts those final weeks in her life, delivering a paean to his dear friend, a remarkable woman whose 'reputation as a hard-arsed war reporter — one of the toughest, best and bravest of our time — preceded her.' Her decades-long career landed her across the globe in places such as East Timor, Chechnya, Baghdad and Sri Lanka. She had a 'superb sense of the absurd' as well as an 'easy-going manner and effortless charm.' Most of all, Colvin believed strongly in the power and responsibility of journalists to hold governments to account and to ' witness to the plight of ordinary civilians....' Writing also of his preparations for Syria and his own experiences once there, Conroy highlights the emotional toll war-zone reporting can take on journalists' families. He describes ways he and his colleagues navigated battlegrounds, 'walking a tightrope between life and death on a windy day.' Conroy's visceral account is provides readers with a greater appreciation for the work of war correspondents and insight into the sacrifices they make. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A riveting war journal from photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanied Marie Colvin during her ill-fated final assignment in Syria.
About the Author
Paul Conroy is a former British soldier. As a photographer and filmmaker whose work spans 15 years, he has reported on the conflicts in Iraq, Congo, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria.
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