Frank, seasoned, expert observations on the folly of U.S. military intervention.

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FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

A MEMOIR

The life of a foreign correspondent who has reported from nearly 100 different countries.

A golden age of overseas journalism coincided with a time of “wishful thinking” by the U.S. military, from Indochina to Afghanistan. Born in 1935 and raised in the Boston suburbs to a Harvard ornithologist father who “worked in the vanished age of the gentleman amateurs who went around the world collecting animals and birds for museums,” Greenway did indeed enjoy a privileged childhood and lucky start to a career in journalism as a stringer for Time at Oxford. Becoming a war correspondent by chance, he arrived in Vietnam in 1967 at the first of many eye-opening posts through the decades, trips that revealed to him the horrendous toll of an increasingly horrifying conflict. Sagging morale among the American troops, suspicion by the South Vietnamese and truculence by the Vietcong intensified the overall paralysis. Greenway, who met many of the old journalist Asia hands—e.g., Michael Herr, Joseph Alsop, Frances FitzGerald—takes pains to delineate the array of opinions his colleagues held about the war. Joining the Washington Post in its Watergate heyday, Greenway continued to cover the war through the fall of Saigon. He also reported on the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge, the bombing of Laos (where, thanks to reporters like Tim Allman and Fred Branfman, the West became aware of the brutal effects of American bombs on civilians)—and other momentous events in Southeast Asia, while his wife and daughters lived mostly in Hong Kong. Greenway provides fascinating detail on the day-to-day travails of the foreign correspondent, and he fleshes out the back story of many of these shadowy conflicts—e.g., the long and charismatic reign of “mercurial” leader Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. The author was also the first Post bureau chief in Israel, and he later moved to the Boston Globe, where he provided formidable coverage of the fall of the Soviet Union.

Frank, seasoned, expert observations on the folly of U.S. military intervention.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-6132-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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UNTAMED

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 Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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