Synopses & Reviews
The story of three fearless female journalists who courageously reported from the frontlines of the Vietnam War, and transformed the future of war reportage.
One spent 23 days in captivity. Another jumped off planes to get the perfect aerial shot. The other reported from war-torn slums and villages. Catherine Leroy, Frankie Fitzgerald and Kate Webb were the first female frontline journalists in the history of US war reporting. Over the course of the Vietnam War they challenged the rules and expectations imposed on them, all in an effort to get the story right.
Using the stories of Catherine, Frankie, and Kate, Elizabeth Becker traces the war in Vietnam from the Tet Offensive to the revolution in Cambodia to the American defeat and aftermath. Kate Webb, an Australian reporter, was captured by the Vietcong only to continue her fearless reporting after her release. Frankie Fitzgerald arrived in Vietnam as a freelancer but her powerful coverage earned her bylines in The New Yorker, and she became the first woman war reporter for the magazine. And at only 22, the French Catherine Leroy was one of the only female photographers in Vietnam. Her work went on to win the highest accolades in photography, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award.
But aside from their numerous recognitions, all three women achieved something else; they overcame various setbacks and limitations all in pursuit of the truth. In You Don't Belong Here, Becker presents powerful female characters in a trailblazing narrative telling the story of how three women forged a place for themselves and for generations of female reporters to come.
The long buried story of three extraordinary female journalists who permanently shattered the official and cultural barriers to women covering war.
Kate Webb, an Australian iconoclast, Catherine Leroy, a French dare devil photographer, and Frances FitzGerald, a blue-blood American intellectual, arrived in Vietnam with starkly different life experiences but one shared purpose: to report on the most consequential story of the decade.
At a time when women were considered unfit to be foreign reporters, Frankie, Catherine and Kate paid their own way to war, arrived without jobs, challenged the rules imposed on them by the military, ignored the belittlement and resentment of their male peers and found new ways to explain the war through the people who lived through it.
In You Don't Belong Here, Elizabeth Becker uses these women's work and lives to illuminate the Vietnam War from the 1965 American buildup, through the Tet Offensive, the expansion into Cambodia, the American defeat and its aftermath. Arriving herself in the last years of the war, Elizabeth writes as an historian and a witness to what these women accomplished.
What emerges is an unforgettable story of three journalists forging their place in a land of men, often at great personal sacrifice, and forever altering the craft of war reportage for generations. Deeply reported and filled with personal letters, interviews, and profound insight, You Don't Belong Here fills a void in the history of women and of war.