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FIRST TO THE FRONT: The Untold Story of Dickey Chappelle, Trailblazing Female War Correspondent
For readers of military history, biographies, and especially hidden histories of women, this is the fascinating story of pioneering photojournalist Dickey Chapelle, one of the first female war correspondents.
From the beginning of World War II through the early days of Vietnam, 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 Revolutionary Army, 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 woman killed in combat.
Chapelle overcame discrimination and abuse, 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.
Lorissa Rinehart is a cultural critic and historian who writes about art, war, politics, and the places where these discourses intersect—and she has found the perfect subject in Dickey Chapelle. Impeccably researched and powerfully written, this untold true story will grip readers from action-filled beginning to end. Rinehart was granted exclusive access to Dickey Chapelle’s archives, and in this book she brings to light Chapelle’s astounding photography for the first time in decades.
Readers of hidden histories like A Woman of No Importance, Madame Fourcade’s Secret War, The Rise of the Rocket Girls, and The Girls of Atomic City will flock to this inspiring story of a woman who overcame unimaginable odds to make her mark on history.
FIRST TO THE FRONT will be published in hardcover by St. Martin’s Press in July 2023. The book will feature a 16-page black & white photo insert with incredible photos. The photos are cleared for international editions, and I have attached here a draft of the photo insert so publishers can see that, as well. Also attached is a marketing sheet showing some comparison titles for this book and an outline of our marketing and publicity plans.
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