Veteran TV war correspondent Fletcher describes several decades of risking life, limb and sanity to chase down stories on the front lines.
Now Tel Aviv bureau chief for NBC News, the author gives a sobering but unforgettable account of a life spent sifting through some of humanity’s worst atrocities. He explains his career choice in part as a way of confronting the loss of much of his extended family in the Holocaust. Spurning a comfortable desk job, he began as a BBC correspondent in the early 1970s and headed out into the field. There he discovered he had a nose for news. More than once, it almost cost him his head, but it also enabled him to submit memorable, prizewinning reports from war zones like Kosovo, Somalia, Cyprus, Rwanda and the Middle East, where the author has lived with his wife and family since the first Gulf War. Although Fletcher provides ample tales of heavy drinking and womanizing with colorful colleagues in his early years, much of his work involved slogging through mud, mountain and jungle in search of grim stories of famine and slaughter. He describes watching colleagues blown to bits by land mines a few feet in front of him, interviewing murderous Somali warlords and witnessing genocide up close in places like Kosovo and Rwanda. Perhaps his most chilling interviews have been clandestine West Bank meetings with Palestinian terrorists dedicated to killing Jews, including the author’s own wife and children. Through it all, Fletcher tries but cannot fully explain his love for a job that has brought him face-to-face with human suffering and mass carnage. But he does candidly acknowledge the emotional toll it has taken, as well as the sheer luck that has kept him alive.
An eye-opening, deeply felt memoir that brings us behind the cameras in the world’s deadliest hot spots.