During the Gulf War, most journalists were confined to media pools. But not Molly Moore, the senior military correspondent of The Washington Post. Moore was the only reporter to accompany a senior commanding general as he led his troops into battle in Kuwait. This is her eyewitness account of the war as she lived it by the side of the top Marine general, Walter E. Boomer. There has never been a book quite like Molly Moore's, for hers is the unique story of what a woman experienced inside the Gulf War military ...
During the Gulf War, most journalists were confined to media pools. But not Molly Moore, the senior military correspondent of The Washington Post. Moore was the only reporter to accompany a senior commanding general as he led his troops into battle in Kuwait. This is her eyewitness account of the war as she lived it by the side of the top Marine general, Walter E. Boomer. There has never been a book quite like Molly Moore's, for hers is the unique story of what a woman experienced inside the Gulf War military machine - in a male-dominated military amidst an Islamic culture in which women are on a level with the family pet. Molly Moore offers a detailed account of the buildup toward war in both Washington and the Gulf, and reveals the heroism as well as the calamity of the battlefield - the miscalculations, the failed communications, the distress and disarray among the troops and their officers. With an appealing combination of chilling authority and a warm understanding of the human dimensions of battle, she provides a frank and unprecedented view of the war planning councils as the action escalates. Here, too, are the tensions and exhilaration of daily life in a war zone - what it was like to wait for days for a gas mask when everyone else was well protected; how it felt to live in the desert, where, among other hazards, freezing winds made it impossible to take out a pair of contact lenses, and lack of privacy left women on duty with few choices about bathroom facilities. A Woman at War showcases as well the fresh and exciting new voice of Molly Moore herself, the first woman Pentagon correspondent in the history of The Washington Post. For its unusually candid and graphic depiction of men - and for the first time, women - in battle, A Woman at War will be highly valued and long remembered.
By circumventing the Pentagon's restrictive media-pool system, Moore became the only American reporter to get a sustained close-up view of ground operations throughout the Gulf War. Senior military correspondent for the Washington Post at the time, she had the good fortune to observe the campaign with the cooperation of Lt. Gen. Walter Boomer, commander of the Marine expeditionary force, who made her privy to inner-council deliberations and provided access to his troops in the field. The resulting report is by far the most vivid and informative account to date of the 100-hour ground war. Her respect for Boomer and his Marines is evident. She portrays theater commander Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, however, as a tyrannical blowhard who misled the U.S. public with his press-conference assurances that the Gulf War was perfectly planned, perfectly executed and virtually bloodless. Moore's book contains some of the finest war reporting of the past half-century. She is currently New Delhi bureau chief of the Washington Post. (July)
For woman or man, soldier or journalist, war is hell; war is hilarious; war is ironic. Washington Post reporter Moore's story is timeless, and her tales of ``storming Kuwait'' with Lt. Gen. Walter Boomer, commander of the U.S. Marine forces, and with some of the colonels and privates who served under him are dramatic and all-too-human. If there is a flaw here, it is that the episodes seem almost disconnected and chaotic, like any war viewed from up close. Moore's outrage over the ``spin doctors'' and ``Neanderthals'' in Washington who objected to her and other journalists' high-level access and potential compromise of military planning deserves more deliberate study than the angry afterthought at the end of this book. For popular collections.-- John Yurechko, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.