Caroline Moorehead – England

Caroline Moorehead is a human rights journalist and biographer. She has written five biographies, of Bertrand Russell, Heinrich Schliemann, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, and most recently, the life of Martha Gellhorn, the wife of novelist Ernest Hemingway. Besides being the wife of Hemingway, Gellhorn was a famous war reporter – unprecedented for a woman in the 1930s – her job was to travel to the most dangerous hot spots in the world … (full text).

She says: “… One of the most difficult refugee problems at the moment are these long-term camps. When they were originally set up, when civil wars began in that part of West Africa, it was envisaged that they would only be there for the time it took for the civil war to be solved. So they were originally seen as sort of holding places where people could stay and be safe for a while. The problem is the civil wars have gone on, and they’ve ebbed and flowed, and the civil wars move around that area of West Africa. So the camps, instead of emptying, got larger, and they are now these huge, desolate places where there is almost nothing, because, in the early days, the World Food Program was able to give them fairly generous rations, but since funds for this sort of thing have gone down, they now get almost nothing. I mean, they live; that’s what they do, they just live … (full interview text, 02/04/2005).


Caroline Moorehead – England

Where Are the “Lost Girls”? 3,700 young Sudanese refugees made it to America. Why are only 89 of them female, Oct. 3, 2003.

She writes: … Many of the traffickers are in fact women, and most of the girls trafficked out of Moldova today are reported to be duped, recruited, and groomed by women, some of them former prostitutes, who often accompany them reassuringly on the first leg of their journeys. Most unsettling is the fact that some of the “introducers” are boyfriends, “aunties,” or even parents, willing, for a cut, or out of financial desperation, to traduce those they profess to love … (full long text, Oct. 11, 2007).

The Lost Treasures of Troy.

She (Caroline Moorehead) explained how she had been to Cairo and become involved with Liberian refugees, whom she helped to raise money to begin an educaton in Cairo. As a result of this experience she wanted to find out more about where these refugees came from and why they were in this position … (full text).

Books of the year – Caroline Moorehead.

In the aftermath of the second world war, the world seemed to wake up to the persecution of the Jews and other minorities under the Nazi regime. Reading Caroline Moorehead’s book I kept reaching for the hope that one day, in the same way, the world would wake up to the intolerable suffering of millions today in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. However Human Cargo is not a book which sets out to foster such dreams … (full text).

Review of ‘Selected Letters of Martha Gellhorn‘.

Caroline Moorehead wrote a column on human rights first for The Times and then for the Independent (1980-91) and made a series of TV programmes on human rights for the BBC (1990-2000). She has written the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1998); and has helped to set up a Legal Advice Centre for refugees in Cairo, where she has also started schools and a nursery. Currently she works as a volunteer on the legal team for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, while also continuing to review and write on human rights in many different papers. (random house).

Stories of flight, Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees.

Caroline Moorehead, who has just written a biography about about the Martha (Gellhorn) she knew joins Jenni to talk about Martha Gellhorn’s distinguished career and Caroline’s access to previously unseen material … click on ‘listen to this item‘, to hear the 8.31 min audio).

Dunant’s Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross.

She says also: … “I think round here [in England], she [Martha Gellhorn] is certainly a role model for women journalists. Somewhere in the letters she says she is not interested in feminism, she never noticed life being any different after the movement. I think she took her attitude somewhat for granted, and she was quite bored with discussing it, when she could be off doing something exciting somewhere. She reported, and she was a woman on the war front. In the ’30s she did stand out, she went to places that many male reporters couldn’t even reach” … (full interview text).

The small voices.

In fact, as Caroline Moorehead points out in this marvellous book, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is currently looking after just over 17 million refugees, displaced people and others “of concern” around the world. This compares with more than 40 million displaced people in Europe in 1945 – Russians, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Ukrainians, some of them survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. As early as 1943, the Allies had begun to make plans to deal with these people and no less than 44 states agreed to donate money. In four years, the UN spent $3.6bn, most of it donated by the US, and in the first five months of the peace three-quarters of the refugees returned home … (full text).

Sudanese adrift in Israel.

Deborah Harper, President of Psychjourney, interviews Ms. Caroline Moorehead, author of Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees published by Henry Holt and Co … (Psychojourney Pod ast). Click on Direct download and listen the (long) audio (not time indication).

Soft targetIn her home country of Uganda, Mary was raped, tortured and imprisoned. She also lost all her loved ones. The Home Office told her she would be safe in Britain – until the panic over immigrants released from jail changed its mind. Caroline Moorehead reports … (full text).

She writes also: When, earlier this month, the new International Criminal Court in The Hague charged its first defendant, a former Congolese warlord called Thomas Lubanga, with abducting children and turning them into killers, an important point was made. It will no longer be acceptable, the court was warning, to involve children in wars, either as deliberate targets or as recruits for the guerrilla militias and government forces waging civil war across parts of Africa and Asia … (full text).

Find her and her publications on the New York Review of books; on amazon; on wikipedia; on open Democracy; on alibris; on goodreads; on her Google inauthor books; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search.

Caroline Moorehead presents facts that are concise and well-researched, while gently reminding the reader that we are talking about real people who are being treated inhumanely.

… She is a trustee and director of Index on Censorship, and a governor of the British Institute of Human Rights. She has served on the committees of the Royal Society of Literature, of which she is a Fellow, the Society of Authors, English PEN and the London Library. She also helped start a legal advice centre for asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa in Cairo, where she helps run a number of educational projects. (full text).

The killing fields.


CRITICAL MASS, the blog of the national book critics circle board of directors;

Rokovoko Archive;

BBC/Documentaries four/Martha Gellhorn on the record;

Woman of Letters;

the book: What Is the What.

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