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The View from the Ground

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  13 reviews
First published in 1959, but now offered in a revised and expanded edition, The View from the Ground presents over six decades of Gellhorn's ruminations on political, civil, and social issues and crises, from a lynching in the American South in the 1930s through a recent visit to Cuba to see what is new and what remains the same in a country that is still off limits to mos ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 6th 1994 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1989)
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4.05  · 
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Martha Gellhorn is considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. She reported on virtually every major world conflict during her sixty-year career as a journalist. She writes passionately. She writes to make her readers care about that which she herself passionately cares. She is opinionated and is not afraid to speak her mind, regardless of what others may think. She expresses herself using satirical, ironical humor. I enjoy her disrespectful jokes.

The book is a collec
I've long been interested in Martha Gellhorn, more so than that one guy she was married to that time, but I've wanted to know more beyond she was a lady journalist who killed herself at a very advanced age.

This collection ranges from essays written across six decades, focusing on peace-time reporting. While her essays were about countries in the midst of peace (ie, not in the middle of war), she showed places and times that were not entirely peaceful. She wrote about the lynching of a black man
Carol Hislop
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic - everyone should read this book
Olivia A
Jun 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I picked up Gellhorn knowing of her work alongside the Spanish Republicans, and having heard that in this book she wrote about the U.S. imperialist involvement in El Salvador. Much of this book was written with the condescendingly 'benevolent' racism of the white liberal, but it wasn't until her articles on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that I almost put the book down for good. Gellhorn is a rabid Zionist, and horrifically Islamophobic. The worst of it is outlined here: http://middleeastreali ...more
Halley Sutton
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Spunky, fiery, salty. Always an inspiration for her travels and her boss-bitch opinions, even if they're not always changeable or even-handed. Sad to think she wrote this, or really, collected these stories and reflected upon them, with so much zest, just two years before she killed herself. Also interesting how she treats "Justice at Night"--makes some half-assed disclaimers about it being "from memory" and therefore "not really reporting" which is a nice way of saying "this story is totally fi ...more
Read her. Seriously. Gripping, intelligent articles. She covers some of the worst of the 20th century, from the fall of Czechoslovakia to the Eichmann and McCarthy trials to Vietnam, sparing none of the ugliness but nevertheless managing to find something brave and hopeful and human in the horror. She's incredibly brave and badass, and, though she dispatches with the objectivity thing pretty freely, only some of her impressions come across as dated. Most still feel incredibly relevant.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favourite reporter; a great, compulsive, austere, compassionate writer. Better than Fermor when happy, better than Orwell when irate. I am always interested in what she has to say about literally anything: this edition covers her peacetime reporting, which is to say her poverty-and-rubble-reconstruction reporting: Great Depression Deep South; the arts in Communist Poland; the difficult path to democracy in Spain; Thatcher and the miners (...) She ranges over the whole sad half-century, bringi ...more
David Kessler
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
The author lived quite the traveling life; her journalism work took her all over the Earth.
Her perceptions of what life was like was as accurate as she could make it with her progressive bent on life was lived country by country. She lived quite the life as she wrote over 6 decades of stories. This book is a compilation of her favorites.
Heidi Bakk-Hansen
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first article in this collection is titled "Justice at Night" in which she witnesses a lynching in Mississippi. A total kick in the gut.

The rest is a really good overview of her peacetime journalism, from Gaza to El Salvador to Cuba. Not always in sync with my sensibilities, and despite her protestations, she does fall into what today we would consider racist blind spots.
Jul 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
A very good account of life/events throughout her career categorized by decades. The articles and stories are vivid and emotional. The rememberance of a lynching she and her companion happened upon while travelling through the south was one that has stayed with me.
Robert Scott
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She was known as the premier war correspondent of the 20th century. This book does not cover any wars, only the onsets or aftermaths of a few. MG was obviously not a fan of any government, as she saw the results of the decisions made by the ruling ruler/president/dictator/despots. None of these essays are what we today would call PC. She pulls no punches about her views of any individual or group with which she comes in direct contact. If you are squeamish, this book is probably not for you, or ...more
Julie Barrett
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The view from the ground by Martha Gellhorn
Enjoyed reading these stories and the subjects are so diverisified they are interesting.
Liked the different locations and learning about the culture.
Things I really liked is that the span of stories covers over 60 years.
War stories she makes you feel as if you are there, with fear as you ride your bike to the border.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
Paul Taylor
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great journalist and a good writer. It helps that my views so often coincide with Gellhorn's but her work should be read irrespective of your politics.
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American novelist, travel writer and journalist, considered to be one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named after her.
“Joseph McCarthy, the Junior Republican Senator from Wisconsin, ruled America like devil king for four years. His purges were an American mirror image of Stalin's purges, an unnoticed similarity.” 5 likes
“The English are very proud of their Parliament, and week in, week out, century after century, they have pretty good cause to be.” 3 likes
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