Under the Wire: Marie Colvin's Final Assignment

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Overview

Zero Dark Thirty meets 127 Hoursa riveting war journal from photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanied Marie Colvin (called by her peers “the greatest war correspondent of her generation”) during her ill-fated final assignment in Syria.

Marie Colvinwas an internationally recognized American foreign war correspondent who was killed in a rocket attack in 2012 while reporting on the suffering of civilians inside Syria. She was renowned for her iconic ...

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Under the Wire: Marie Colvin's Final Assignment

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Overview

Zero Dark Thirty meets 127 Hoursa riveting war journal from photographer Paul Conroy, who accompanied Marie Colvin (called by her peers “the greatest war correspondent of her generation”) during her ill-fated final assignment in Syria.

Marie Colvinwas an internationally recognized American foreign war correspondent who was killed in a rocket attack in 2012 while reporting on the suffering of civilians inside Syria. She was renowned for her iconic flair and her fearlessness: wearing the pearls that were a gift from Yasser Arafat and her black eye-patch, she reported from places so dangerous no other hard-core correspondent would dare to go. Paul Conroy, who had forged a close bond with Colvin as they put their lives on the line time and time again to report from the world’s conflict zones, was with her when she died. Under the Wire is Paul’s gripping, visceral, and moving account of their friendship and the final year he spent alongside her. When Marie and Paul were smuggled into Syria by rebel forces, they found themselves trapped in one of the most hellish neighborhoods on earth. Fierce barrages of heavy artillery fire rained down on the buildings surrounding them, killing and maiming hundreds of civilians. Marie was killed by a rocket which also blew hole in Paul’s thigh big enough to put his hand through. Bleeding profusely, short of food and water, and in excruciating pain, Paul then endured five days of intense bombardment before being evacuated in a daring escape in which he rode a motorbike through a tunnel, crawled through enemy terrain, and finally scaled a 12-foot-high wall. Astonishingly vivid, heart-stoppingly dramatic and shot through with dark humor, in Under the Wire Paul Conroy shows what it means to a be a war reporter in the 21st century. His is a story of two brave people drawn together by a shared compulsion to bear witness.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Judith Matloff
Conroy worked alongside Colvin, and…the narrative becomes unrelentingly gripping as he depicts the pair's path toward disaster. My hands left sweat marks on the pages.
Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
News reporter Marie Colvin, an American war correspondent for The Sunday Times in London, died in February 2012 in a Syrian attack. Conroy, a British photojournalist, was with Colvin on assignment at the time of her death and recounts those final weeks in her life, delivering a paean to his dear friend, a remarkable woman whose "reputation as a hard-arsed war reporter—one of the toughest, best and bravest of our time—preceded her." Her decades-long career landed her across the globe in places such as East Timor, Chechnya, Baghdad and Sri Lanka. She had a "superb sense of the absurd" as well as an "easy-going manner and effortless charm." Most of all, Colvin believed strongly in the power and responsibility of journalists to hold governments to account and to " witness to the plight of ordinary civilians…." Writing also of his preparations for Syria and his own experiences once there, Conroy highlights the emotional toll war-zone reporting can take on journalists' families. He describes ways he and his colleagues navigated battlegrounds, "walking a tightrope between life and death on a windy day." Conroy's visceral account is provides readers with a greater appreciation for the work of war correspondents and insight into the sacrifices they make. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Colvin devoted her life—and gave her life—for the proposition that the truth of history demands witnesses. Her death, like that of so many others, is yet another reminder, as if any more were needed, that experience in the field is no shelter from disaster.”

Tom Fletcher, British ambassador to Lebanon
“Paul’s experience is a chilling testimony to what families in Homs are experiencing. We need renewed focus on humanitarian support and to put an end to violence.”

Booklist

“In this tense, hour-by-hour account, he takes readers back to Syria and the events that led to their being behind the battle lines… Colvin was a significant voice in international journalism and will be sorely missed, and Conroy’s account is unforgettable.”

Vanity Fair
“In Under the Wire, Conroy relives their odyssey and its harrowing final hours.”

Publisher’s Weekly
“Conroy’s visceral account is provides readers with a greater appreciation for the work of war correspondents and insight into the sacrifices they make.”

Bookviews
“Anyone who has spent any time in a war zone, in combat, or just wondering what it is like will thoroughly enjoy this book. One might say they shared a foxhole or two together and the story he tells is gripping and a great tribute to his friend, a great journalist.”

Sunday Times
“A fine and gripping account of how the brave, rackety band of war reporters and photographers bring the human consequences of war to our breakfast tables.”

The Times, UK
“Paul Conroy’s touching memoir...is a tribute to the metier of reporting conflict...It’s a touching, if heartbreaking story.”

Humphrey Hawksley, BBC
“A masterpiece, possibly the finest account of war of this generation.”

Books Examiner
“This is an eye-opening account of what journalists go through to tell the world about the atrocities going on in war-torn countries like Syria.”

Another Opinion
“This is one of those rare books that you will want to share with your friends. But by the end, Paul Conroy’s “Under the Wire” will have changed you. You’ll understand consequences of modern warfare for what it really is. It will make you want to delve deeper into what you see and hear in the media and learn what’s really happening in the world.”

From the Publisher
David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Colvin devoted her life—and gave her life—for the proposition that the truth of history demands witnesses. Her death, like that of so many others, is yet another reminder, as if any more were needed, that experience in the field is no shelter from disaster.”

Tom Fletcher, British ambassador to Lebanon

“Paul’s experience is a chilling testimony to what families in Homs are experiencing. We need renewed focus on humanitarian support and to put an end to violence.”
From the Publisher
David Remnick, The New Yorker
“Colvin devoted her life—and gave her life—for the proposition that the truth of history demands witnesses. Her death, like that of so many others, is yet another reminder, as if any more were needed, that experience in the field is no shelter from disaster.”

Tom Fletcher, British ambassador to Lebanon

“Paul’s experience is a chilling testimony to what families in Homs are experiencing. We need renewed focus on humanitarian support and to put an end to violence.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602862364
  • Publisher: Weinstein Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 691,170
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Conroy is a former British soldier. As a photographer and filmmaker whose work spans 15 years, he has reported on the conflicts in Iraq, Congo, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    an amazing true story,  gripping with dark humour, showing what

    an amazing true story,  gripping with dark humour, showing what an amazing journalist Marie Colvin was, and the incredible escape from the Assad regime forces, that Paul with horrific injuries, managed with the help of the courageous syrians. A book I believe everyone should read!

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  • Posted October 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    War. It terrifies us. It freezes our very souls. Yet, through ou

    War. It terrifies us. It freezes our very souls. Yet, through our better angels, it can call us to bear witness to its inhumanity and speak out against the carnage while giving voice to those silenced by the vacuum of destruction and death through words and images. War correspondent Marie Colvin was one of those better angels for whom hundreds could tell their stories, and it was through the masterfully told book "Under The Wire: Marie Colvin's Last Assignment", that her fellow war journalist and close friend, Paul Conroy, bears witness for her, lost friends, and comrades born of war. In a gripping and all too real adventure, Conroy takes us from the relative tranquility of a Beirut bar into the coldly calculating meat grinder of Assad's ongoing war; a war which knows no distinction between rebel or child or, ultimately, journalists.

    Paul Conroy is a freelance photographer, who often works for the British newspaper, The Sunday Times. It is his job to convey to the world the frozen images in the mists of survival against an onslaught of unimaginable ferocity. In doing so, Conroy shows the world both the savagery of war and the human will to persevere. Marie Colvin was an award winning correspondent for The Sunday Times and author who covered the killing fields of Chechnya, Timor, Libya, and Sri Lanka, where she lost an eye and gained an eye patch and solidified her near mythical no holds barred reputation as a world class journalist. Theirs is a select few who routinely risked their lives in some of the world's most dangerous places to expose what governments, dictators, and tribal leaders deny, cover up---the massacres; the genocides; and the wholesale slaughter thousands of innocent victims.

    Conroy's book, "Under the Wire: Marie Colvin's Last Assignment", calls out for our condemnation of war's inhumanity, while sharing with the reader the dedication of those who risk everything to bring the truth behind the offical statements and press releases. We owe it to ourselves to read this book; to learn the reality behind those 10 second sound bites and flickering images on our nightly news. But be warned. Once you start down this journey with Mr. Conroy, you won't be able to stop; you won't want to stop. Each page will drive you forward to the next. You'll be sweep away by the images created through this brilliant telling of Marie's and Paul's descend into a hell known as Baba Amr.

    This is one of those rare books that you will want to share with your friends. But by the end, Paul Conroy's "Under the Wire" will have changed you. You'll understand consequences of modern warfare for what it really is. It will make you want to delve deeper into what you see and hear in the media and learn what's really happening in the world. So come along with Paul Conroy and become a witness to the greatest tragedy the world has seen in generations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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