The many tales of war, any war, are always disturbing and tragic. Paul Conroy has written about it from the perspective of a photojournalist. He writes of his bravery and the bravery of many other reporters risking their lives to tell the stories of war-torn countries and the people who live and die through wars.
In his latest work, Conroy writes of one well-known reporter, Marie Colvin. The book is a detailed account of his last assignment with Colvin. They were both smuggled into Syria to cover the ongoing war. They become trapped in house where other reporters were staying when they came under rocket fire and Colvin lost her life.
The two, Conroy and Colvin, also worked together covering Libya and the ousting of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Conroy writes, “We witnessed the brutal killing of innocent civilians, the fierce gun battles between rebel and Gaddafi forces, NATO’s bombing campaign and the eventual fall of the capital Tripoli. It was a professional relationship and a true friendship that both of us knew would last for years and years.”
The stories of how these two reporters and others like them moved around Syria and the risks they took to get the news of what’s happening on the ground are amazing. They do so unarmed and trusting guards and escorts from a country where nobody seems to know who is the enemy.
“Sometime in the next week I would hand over my destiny, freely and willfully, to a bunch of smugglers whose real names I would never know. Then there was the sobering thought that, at some point, there would be lots of people working very hard to stop me form reaching my destination or, worse, trying to kill me,” writes Conroy.
Colvin is described as “the greatest war correspondent of her generation.” Conroy writes this about her, “The public face of Marie – the one that wrote in newspapers, appeared on talk shows or gave speeches in public – was that of a battle-hardened, veteran war correspondent who wore an eyepatch. But there was so much more to her than that.”
The best parts of this book are the displays of courage by the reporters and the photographers, the civilians suffering from the many bombings and gun battles and those people whose lives are completely destroyed by war. By the end of the book, the reader will feel that the reporters compelled to find the stories and share them with the world should be commemorated.
The book is well written and tells an inspiring story.
The author: Paul Conroy is described in the back of the book as a former British soldier, a photographer and a filmmaker. He has reported on conflicts in Iraq, Congo, Kosovo, Libya and Syria. He dedicated his book to “Marie Colvin, Remi Ochlik, Neil Conroy and the 72,305 Syrians reported dead at the writing of this book.”