Patrick Garrett interviewed by Deutsche Welle

There’s an interesting interview with author Patrick Garrett on his new biography of war reporter Clare Hollingworth in the Deutsche Welle this week.

We are in the midst of an age of upheaval, marked by international crises. Does Hollingworth continue to observe these developments, despite her advanced age, and if so, how does she view them in light of her experiences?

Clare is a few weeks away from her 105th birthday, and she is now quite frail. Long ago she researched many of the themes that are only now achieving major prominence. [Republican presidential candidate] Donald Trump is suggesting that the US should abandon its NATO allies: This was an angle that Clare followed up in the 1960s. Clare was in Israel when the state was founded and all over the Middle East during World War II.

Religion-focused terrorism was a subject she wrote about and in fact was attacked for by academics. Some of her remarks have proved sadly prescient. She wrote about how effective the foot soldier could be against a superpower using the simplest tactics: We see that, too, in the Middle East. Based in China, she wrote about potential tensions in the South China Sea and Pacific long before they were daily news fodder.

As for watching today - she still likes to feel that she is part of the news world and insists on keeping her passport by her bedside and her shoes beside her bed in case she is called out to cover a story. Obviously that isn’t going to happen anymore, but it was what gave her a sense of purpose, and is perhaps one reason for her longevity.

Full interview (in English)

About article author

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Patrick Garrett

  Patrick Garrett was born in London, grew up in Scotland, but has lived in Eastern Europe and Asia since the 1990s. He began his working life as a television editor in Glasgow. After a stint doing TV commercials in Hamburg, during the turbulent Yeltsin years he moved to Moscow to work i...More about Patrick Garrett