Elizabeth Becker on 3 Women War Reporters, with Anne Nelson

FEB 24, 2021 | 6:00 PM TO 7:05 PM





February 24, 2021: 6:00 PM-7:05 PM




Leon Levy Center for Biography



The long buried story of three extraordinary female journalists who permanently shattered the official and cultural barriers to women covering war: Kate Webb, an Australian iconoclast, Catherine Leroy, a French dare devil photographer, and Frances FitzGerald, a blue-blood American intellectual, arrived in Vietnam with starkly different life experiences but one shared purpose: to report on the most consequential story of the decade. 

At a time when women were considered unfit to be foreign reporters, Frankie, Catherine and Kate paid their own way to war, arrived without jobs, challenged the rules imposed on them by the military, ignored the belittlement and resentment of their male peers and found new ways to explain the war through the people who lived through it. 

In You Don't Belong Here, Elizabeth Becker uses these women's work and lives to illuminate the Vietnam War from the 1965 American buildup, through the Tet Offensive, the expansion into Cambodia, the American defeat and its aftermath. Arriving herself in the last years of the war, Elizabeth writes as an historian and a witness to what these women accomplished.

What emerges is an unforgettable story of three journalists forging their place in a land of men, often at great personal sacrifice, and forever altering the craft of war reportage for generations. Deeply reported and filled with personal letters, interviews, and profound insight, You Don't Belong Here fills a void in the history of women and of war. 

Elizabeth Becker is an award-winning journalist and author who began her career as a war correspondent for the Washington Post in Cambodia. She later became the senior foreign editor for National Public Radio and a New York Times correspondent covering national security and foreign policy. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including accolades from the Overseas Press Club, DuPont Columbia's Awards and was a member of the Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for covering 9/11. She is the author of two previous books, When the War was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution, the definitive book on the event that has been in print for twenty years; and Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,an exposé of the travel industry.

Anne Nelson is a prize-winning author and lecturer.  Her most recent book is Shadow Network: Money, Media, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right, which describes an alliance of Christian fundamentalists and oil barons who helped bring Trump to power.  Her previous book, Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.  She received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler, a New York Times Editors' Choice.  Her play The Guys, dealing with the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, won the Audie Award for best recorded play of the year, and was produced as a feature film with Sigourney Weaver.  Nelson is currently a Research Fellow at Columbia's Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies.