My review of Terry Mort's Hemingway at War: Ernest Hemingway's Adventures as a World War II Correspondent appeared in the Washington Times.
As a Hemingway aficionado since my early teens, I’ve read all of Ernest Hemingway’s novels, short stories, his letters and most of the biographies written about him. I’ve also read collections of his journalism, including the six articles he wrote as a war correspondent for Collier’s magazine during World War II.
Since his suicide in 1961, there has been a steady stream of books about Hemingway, whom many suggest may be the greatest and most influential writer of the 20th century. Of course, Hemingway has his detractors. Hemingway weaved his real life through his fiction, thus creating the Hemingway persona and the quintessential macho fictional Hemingway hero. This has made it easy for the Hemingway haters to zero in on his personal life and disparage both his life and his work by emphasizing his bragging, bullying and boozing. They have also delighted in deflating his tough guy image by zeroing in on his time as a World War II combat correspondent, branding him a coward, a liar and a fake journalist.
Terry Mort, a writer who has written seven novels and six nonfiction books, including “The Hemingway Patrols: Ernest Hemingway and His Hunt for U-Boats,” offers an evenhanded look at Hemingway’s wartime role in “Hemingway at War.”
“Hemingway had a talent for being at the center of important events. Those events — and some of the people connected with them — are a large part of this story. He was with the Allied landings on D-Day. He flew with the RAF on at least one bombing mission. He flew with them during an attack of V-1 flying bombs. He operated with the French Resistance and the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) as the Allies advanced to Paris. And he was present and indeed active during the horrendous carnage of the battle for the Hurtgenwald in Germany’s Siegfried Line. As such he provides a useful lens to examine these events and also some of the people, both the troops who fought and the civilian journalists who covered the fighting,” Mr. Mort writes in his introduction. “Inevitably and understandably, his exposure to people and events affected his journalism, and later his fiction. This book attempts therefore to place him in the context of this history and in so doing expand understanding of those events and their effect on him, personally and professionally.”
I believe Mr. Mort largely succeeded in his goal.
You can read the rest of the review via the below link: