In This Review

You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War
You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of War
By Elizabeth Becker
320 pp, PublicAffairs, 2021

Becker, who made her name reporting on war in Cambodia and the rise of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, delivers an enthralling biography of three female war correspondents who preceded her in Southeast Asia, reporting on the Vietnam War. The photographer Catherine Leroy produced some of the most searing images of the war (including a famous one of a distraught U.S. marine cradling a dead comrade). The journalist Frances FitzGerald’s determination to understand the Vietnamese perspective led to one of the most perceptive early books on the war (Fire in the Lake), and the war correspondent Kate Webb’s insistence on getting close to the action resulted in her eventual capture by North Vietnamese troops in Cambodia. Becker blends their individual stories with wider history, setting the unfolding tragedy in Vietnam in the background as her protagonists develop doubts about the logic and legitimacy of the war. She provides vivid accounts of their journalistic exploits and tales of how they suffered in their work—their injuries, traumas, excessive drinking, and complicated affairs.