Dickey Chapelle Under Fire: Photographs by the First American Female War Correspondent Killed in Action

John Garofolo. Wisconsin Historical Society, $25 (136p) ISBN 978-0-87020-718-1
Garofolo, an Iraq War veteran and former entertainment industry executive, assembles the first-ever collection of the work of Georgette "Dickey" Chappelle, who pursued a photojournalism career at a time when practically no women did, beginning in WWII. The Wisconsin native's love of aviation and photography led her to abandon her studies at MIT and hang around military bases instead. She flunked out, married, and persuaded the Navy—despite her Navy husband's objections—to let her cover the front lines in the Pacific. Chapelle eagerly went on to cover events in Hungary, Algeria, Cuba, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, and, fatefully, Vietnam. Despite winning awards for her work, she struggled for assignments; when she got them, she earned less pay than her male counterparts. Her arresting black and white photos capture lasting scenes: grotesquely wounded soldiers, children caught in conflict, and summary executions of combatants. But it's a colleague's photo that haunts this book: the 47-year-old Chapelle laying mortally wounded after being hit by shrapnel while on patrol with Marines in South Vietnam. The commandant of the Marine Corps called Chapelle "one of us," and her body of work surely deserves the wider recognition this book provides. 153 b&w photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/07/2015
Release date: 10/14/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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