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Martha Gellhorn

The View from the Ground

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As Martha Gellhorn explains, “This book is a selection of articles written during six decades; peace-time reporting. That is to say, the countries in the background were at peace at the moment of writing; not that there was peace on earth.” America during the Depression, Spain in the anxious aftermath of Franco’s death, a Christmas with the have-nots in London and a weekend in Israel, the magnificent protests at the White House, a memoir of domestic life in Africa and an account of returning to Cuba after a forty-one-year absence . . . these writings are as wide as Martha Gellhorn’s life as a writer for nearly sixty years, and all of them are marked by her grace, her passion, her fierce belief in the right, and her loathing of the wrong. Informed by the horrors of fascism in Spain and Germany as well as the highly modern terror in Central America, and by the courage of those defenders of decency who stand up to the thugs both in an out of government, The View From the Ground is a singular act of testimony that—like its companion volume, The Face of War—is unique in our time.
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2014

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    The towns or villages give an impression of belonging to the flies; and it is impossible to imagine that on occasion these languid people move with a furious purpose
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    We did everything we could think of doing, which wasn't much, and once or twice it panted wearily and then there was silence. We sat in it and cursed and wondered what to do. No one passed; there was no reason for anyone to pass. The roads are bad and mosquitoes sing too close the minute you stop moving. And the only reason to go to a small town in Mississippi is to sell something, or try to sell, and that doesn't happen late at night
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