A welcome history suitable for World War I aficionados and budding journalists.

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AN UNLADYLIKE PROFESSION

AMERICAN WOMEN WAR CORRESPONDENTS IN WORLD WAR I

In American Journalists in the Great War (2017), Dubbs barely mentioned the women reporters of World War I. This follow-up book is an impressive corrective.

The author explores the careers of nearly 40 courageous women who covered the war for newspapers, news syndicates, magazines, and other publications. Most of the principals will be unfamiliar to general readers, but their bylines were widespread from 1915 through 1919. Two of the most well-known names are the journalists who also found success as novelists: Edith Wharton, who worked for Scribner’s Magazine and the Saturday Evening Post; and Mary Roberts Rinehart, “America’s most popular mystery novelist when she traveled to Europe in 1915 to be a war correspondent.” Other recognizable names—at least to readers versed in the history of journalism—include Nellie Bly and Louise Bryant. In addition to the rich anecdotes and samplings of their reporting provided by Dubbs, period photographs enhance the engaging portrayal of wartime drama. Another strength of the book is the author's decision to focus not just on Western European countries, but also on the battlegrounds of Turkey, Armenia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia. Of the newspapers and magazines hiring women to report about the war, the Saturday Evening Post was perhaps the most prominent and aggressive (and women-friendly), and Dubbs covers it appropriately. “While the Post’s coverage included the military, political, and economic components of war,” he writes, “its women correspondents showed…the impact on the home, family, and individual lives.” In her foreword, PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff admirably ties the reporting of women journalists currently covering global conflicts to the work of those during WWI: “Today’s intrepid female reporters stand on the shoulders of women who pioneered the role.” Readers will be inspired by the nearly unimaginable obstacles these journalists overcame to perform their jobs with flair.

A welcome history suitable for World War I aficionados and budding journalists.

Pub Date: July 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64012-306-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Potomac Books

Review Posted Online: March 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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