Hilsum’s biography of Marie Colvin, the reporter who was killed in 2012, is a well written, rose colored glasses off type of biography. Drawing on interviews as well as Colvin’s diary entries, Hilsum presents a complicated portrait of a woman. It is refreshing to read a book about a woman who seems so on point and is just as problematic as the rest of us. When you read or listened to Colvin, you always had the impression that she was on top of everything. It was comforting to realize that she was just as screwed up as the rest of us.
Hilsum’s biography also captures the less PC aspects of Colvin’s character – her drinking, her manizing, as well as her struggles with PTSD.
Considering recent attacks on the press coming from politicians, it is important to read this book. Trump and his supporters want you to believe that the attacks on the press are no more than show. But Colvin died because reporters were targeted. Colvin was not partisan. She sided with people who were caught up in events. She lost her life bringing attention to those stories. I do not mean to suggest she was a “white savoir” narrative. Considering how she is described in this book, she would hate that. But she was the type of reporter that we need. The sheer fact that reporters were killed because people didn’t want the world to know something should make you cold.