Looking for Trouble: One Woman, Six Wars and a Revolution

Overview

News correspondent Leslie Cockburn has dined with the Cali Cartel, marched with the Khmer Rouge, hunted down the Black Turban in Afghanistan, pursued the Russian mafia to the Arctic Circle, shared pomegranate sauce with the Ayatollahs, and stopped a small Kurdish war, but she has never told these stories in a book-until now.

Cockburn was one of the first women to break into the tight fraternity of combat and third-world reportage when she began work at the London bureau of NBC ...

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Looking for Trouble: One Woman, Six Wars and a Revolution

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Overview

News correspondent Leslie Cockburn has dined with the Cali Cartel, marched with the Khmer Rouge, hunted down the Black Turban in Afghanistan, pursued the Russian mafia to the Arctic Circle, shared pomegranate sauce with the Ayatollahs, and stopped a small Kurdish war, but she has never told these stories in a book-until now.

Cockburn was one of the first women to break into the tight fraternity of combat and third-world reportage when she began work at the London bureau of NBC News in 1976-where successful news gathering required "unorthodox tactics, stamina, and, for best results, a criminal mind." By the time she moved to CBS's "60 Minutes," Cockburn had interviewed Muammar Qaddaffi and Margaret Thatcher, been arrested as spy in Gambia, and effectively eliminated whatever doubts her colleagues might have had about a woman's ability to tackle the news business's most dangerous assignments.

A mother of three who has made a career of breaking down barriers, Leslie Cockburn has exposed the tobacco lobby in Washington and human rights violations in Cambodia, and her impact on foreign and domestic policy has been as powerful as her impact on the rights and prerogatives of working women. In an industry in which, as late as 1973, women had to lobby to wear trousers to work, Leslie Cockburn was determined to combine a strong family life with a strong professional life, sacrificing neither.

With a cast of generals, drug lords, rock stars, and kings, LOOKING FOR TROUBLE is the incredible story of a career that has spanned the history-making news events of the last two decades.

From the Hardcover edition.

Shares adventures of a journalist in the world's "hot spots."

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Editorial Reviews

Geraldine Brooks
There is a passionate reporter here, a courageous woman....Cockburn's work has given her an extraordinary perspective on 20 years of failures in American foreign policy. -- Geraldine Brooks, New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A slightly better blend of Scoop and Dispatches than many memoirs by foreign correspondents. While in graduate school, and drawn by the idea of travel and adventure, Cockburn (Dangerous Liaison, 1991, etc.), now a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, joined the international bureau of NBC News. Still in her early 20s, it wasn't long before she was up to her neck in wars and disasters. Television news, especially international reporting, was still a macho fraternity, and Cockburn found herself in the uncomfortable but inspiriting role of pioneer. From Cambodia to Afghanistan, from Somalia to the Gulf War, usually behind the camera in the essential but undervalued role of producer, she has covered some of the last two decades' hottest spots. Along the way, she won a shelfful of prestigious awards and found time to have three children without most of the compromises faced by working women. For example, six months pregnant, she descended into the maelstrom of Somalia, her expanded stomach covered by an extra-large bullet-proof vest (until she discovered that Somali gunmen made a sport of testing the vests by deliberately shooting at their wearers). Cockburn never stayed very long in one place, jumping from story to story, six weeks here, a month there, just enough time to dig up a few scoops, work a new angle on an old story, and set up interviews and camera angles for the dancing-bear correspondent from New York who'd fly in for a few days to front her hard work. Because she's never in one place long enough to appreciate its true intricacies and shadings, much of her reportage here feels like intelligent tourism. She also has an off-putting flair for self-dramatization, making the momentsof real danger seem oddly flat. Though the book is well crafted and full of incident, very little of it lingers long in memory. (Author tour)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385483551
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/16/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ANCHOR
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

1 TV Mountain 1
2 The Oasis 16
3 The Island Bureau 41
4 War Games 65
5 The Dirty War 78
6 The Leopards 93
7 Dinner with the Drug Lords 108
8 The Emerald Buddha 125
9 The Patriots 146
10 The Rivers of Babylon 161
11 The Thousand and One Nights 184
12 The Music of Mogadishu 199
13 The Great Game 223
14 Lunch with the Ayatollahs 238
15 S.P.E.C.T.R.E. 258
Epilogue: The Trailer 271
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