Colonel Gaddafi's Hat Hardcover – 29 Mar 2012
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About the Author
Alex Crawford has been interrogated by more than one intelligence agency, rescued by the US Army, fired at live on air, and experienced some of the most dangerous places in the world.
She is the only journalist to have won the Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year Award three times. She has also won an Emmy, two Golden Nymphs, the Bayeux War Correspondents Award, and the prestigious James Cameron Award, being cited by the judges for her ‘work as a journalist that combined moral vision and professional integrity’. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Broadcast Journalism in the 2012 New Year's Honours List.
After growing up in Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Alex began her career at the Wokingham Times before moving to the BBC and eventually Sky News, where she is currently Special Correspondent specialising in the Gulf, Middle East and Africa
Alex lives in Johannesburg with her husband Richard, one son and three daughters.
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Top Customer Reviews
Crawford lets her terrifying story tell itself and her first book is all the better for it. It is a straightforward account of a television foreign correspondent's three visits to Libya during 2011's revolution. She and her Sky News crews witnessed, at the very closest of quarters, the setbacks and triumphs of the rebels opposing the Gaddafi regime. Twice they scooped global television news - first by reporting from the inside on the government's murderous retaking of rebel-held Zawiya, then by being in the vanguard of the final advance into Tripoli (thereby encountering the ordinary guy who took the colonel's titular, gold-braided titfer from a bedroom in his Tripoli compound). She and her crews, whose contribution is fully acknowledged, succeeded through great determination plus a mixture of raw courage and recklessness...and a little dumb luck. Indeed, they were lucky not to be killed, and rebel friendly fire was as great a threat as anything the regime's forces threw their way. Do not expect an in-depth treatise on what made the the colonel's dictatorship last so long, and why it was eventually brought down. Instead, this is a sweaty, first-person, present-tense account of broadcast news at its most exhilarating, immediate and instinctive. Much of the book's appeal value lies in it being her own account of what if all felt like and what the experience did to her. Even so, she attempts no explanation of why a mother of four turning 50 makes her living in quite such a dangerous way. She probably cannot explain it to herself. Perhaps no explanation is required, but one does start to emerge from this book - and it's simply that she's rather good at what she does.
The book that tells it how it is - warts and all. And at times it's pretty scary.
Alex guides us graphically through her personal journey of the Libyan uprising: a compelling, breathless and utterly vivid account of the horrors of war.
As she takes us with her inside that death-trap of a mosque in Zawiya, onto the frontline in Misrata and riding into Tripoli with the liberating rebels, what comes bursting through is Alex's compassion, her professionalism and her humanity.
She admits that war is `hideous and cruel and bloodthirsty'. And it's no fun being shot at. `It's not the danger I love,' she says. Of course it's an adventure, but above all it's about that gut instinct to get to the core of the story, that desire to shine a light into the darker corners of the world and that dedication to getting the tale on TV so we'll all know the truth of what's going on.
Alex gives us a real sense of the chaos, the carnage and sometimes the comedy of war.
In doing so, she's brutally honest about the personal price a reporter can pay in going almost to hell and back to get a story. She describes the stark, sweaty, fear-filled reality of facing death.
She talks openly of her fears and tears, her guilt and the impact on her family.
But in the end it's all balanced against the need she feels to tell the world about those ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times; to expose suffering, inhumanity and injustice.
The book also gives you a real insight into the teamwork that goes into bringing a story to air. We maybe the faces you see on your screens, but we'd be nothing without the courage and professionalism of a host of colleagues.
Alex's book is a tribute to all those men and women who bring you your daily news.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book to be a very interesting insight into the life of a foreign correspondent. It revealed, at least to myself who had no knowledge of how foreign reporting worked, a... Read morePublished on 2 Jun. 2014 by Brenda, Scotland
Fab descriptive writing from such a brave woman. Nice also to watch youtube videos of Alex reporting the uprising live for sky news from Libya at the time. Read morePublished on 26 April 2014 by Jasmina
I gave this to a Libyan exile friend who thought it was a very relevant and also very interesting narrativePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by B. A. Smith
What a capturing read this was. I followed Alex Crawford's coverage of the Libyan uprising and thought she did an amazing job. Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2014 by miss k
A quick browse through the other reviews of this title (with a particular focus on the 1 and 5 star reviews) expose either flowery almost hero-worship reviews standing up against... Read morePublished on 11 May 2013 by writeallthereviews
A behind-the-scenes-look at what happened off camera during the Lybian revolution. How Alex and the Sky team survived their gruelling time during their weeks sending back the news... Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2013 by P. Blunsden
Brilliant and sensational account of a truley professional, motivated and hard working journalist who did not seem to have cared much about the risks that can be associated with... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2013 by Dr Amer M A Azaz
Wonderful. Alex's experiences are by turns moving, shocking, sad, and funny, and always fascinating. It's a book to be devoured in one setting and then read again...Published on 11 Nov. 2012 by Keith
..Alex Crawford is a pawn of propaganda machine. It is obvious that she is just a tool in the hands of bigger players who wanted to see independent state Libya under the thumb of... Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2012 by D. Giediminas