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The first authoritative biography of pioneering photojournalist Dickey Chapelle, who from World War II through the early days of Vietnam got her story by any means necessary as one of the first female war correspondents.
"I side with prisoners against guards, enlisted men against officers, weakness against power."
From the beginning of World War II through the early days of Vietnam, groundbreaking female photojournalist and war correspondent Dickey Chapelle chased dangerous assignments her male colleagues wouldn’t touch, pioneering a radical style of reporting that focused on the humanity of the oppressed.
She documented conditions across Eastern Europe in the wake of the Second World War. She marched down the Ho Chi Minh Trail with the South Vietnamese Army and across the Sierra Maestra Mountains with Castro. She was the first reporter accredited with the Algerian National Liberation Front, and survived torture in a communist Hungarian prison. She dove out of planes, faked her own kidnapping, and endured the mockery of male associates, before ultimately dying on assignment in Vietnam with the Marines in 1965, the first American female journalist killed while covering combat.
Chapelle overcame discrimination both on the battlefield and at home, with much of her work ultimately buried from the public eye—until now. In First to the Front, Lorissa Rinehart uncovers the incredible life and unparalleled achievements of this true pioneer, and the mark she would make on history.
"An extraordinary story....Reads like a Hollywood movie." —The Wall Street Journal
"Compelling and detailed...a thrilling adventure story." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Remarkable." —The Christian Science Monitor
"Jam-packed with colorful details and incisive character sketches, this is a vivid reappraisal of a pioneering journalist." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Unforgettable....A valuable, long-overdue tribute to an American woman whose work and commitment to human rights is more relevant than ever." —BookPage (starred review)
"A life brazenly lived and a tale compellingly told....To see war through photojournalist Dickey Chapelle’s eyes is to witness not only battles fought on distant shores, but also those waged at home against individuals who dare to unearth the truth and strive to break free of the limitations others seek to place on them. With gripping, fluid storytelling, this enthralling account of Dickey Chapelle is given well deserved and illuminating new light and life." —Denise Kiernan, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together
"Thanks to Lorissa Rinehart's detailed and heartfelt biography, we now know about the fascinating life of the photojournalist known as Dickey Chapelle....Readers will be pulled into this book and won't want to be let go."
—Tom Clavin, New York Times bestselling author of Lightning Down
"An astonishing story...exquisite. After reading this enthralling book, now, when someone asks, 'What three people from history would you have over for dinner?' My first choice is easy: At the head of the table is the incomparable Dickey Chapelle. Next to her, the other two guests will be fighting for table scraps." —Buddy Levy, author of Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk
"From a hospital ship at Iwo Jima to the Ho Chi Mihn trail, a bracing account of a female combat reporter who risked everything to inform the American public." —Mary L. Dudziak, author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences
"An extraordinary story, told with cinematic flair. Chapelle's groundbreaking career should be studied in every journalism school in the country. Rinehart's vivid prose makes us feel like we're right there with her through all her trials and triumphs." —J. Martin Daughtry, author of Listening to War: Sound, Music, Trauma, and Survival in Wartime Iraq