In the 1970s, seventeen-year-old Lynda Schuster fled from her family life in Detroit. Her parents had divorced. Lynda didn't get along with her mother, and her father was living in London. She used a visit to her father as a way to arrive at her final destination, a kibbutz in Israel where she was a volunteer in a work/study program. The Golan Heights came under attack while she was there. "The thing about war - as long as you're not dying - is that it's oddly exhilarating." Despite fear at times, Schuster learned to live with that exhilaration.
After grad school, and a job with the Jerusalem Post, Schuster ended up at the Wall Street Journal. After one year, she became a correspondent for them, ending up covering wars in Central America. They sent her to several war zones, while asking her to cover the business of the countries, not the wars. In fact, when she went to El Salvador, she was told, "Don't bother dying down there. We wouldn't even appreciate the kind of story that could get you killed."
Lynda Schuster's story is also about the two men she loved, one a journalist who shared her knowledge of war zones, the other a career diplomat. Ironically, when she married the man who became the deputy ambassador in Monrovia, Liberia, she thought it would keep her away from war. Instead, she ended up in the thick of it. And, they went on to posts in Mozambique and Peru when he was appointed ambassador. The girl from Detroit, a war correspondent, panicked when she became an ambassador's wife.
Dirty Wars and Polished Silver is a story only Schuster could write. It's riveting, sometimes funny, sometimes touching. The scene with the frogs and a tennis racket is unforgettable. But Schuster also saw and experienced heartbreaking moments. She's written a compelling story of world history as it affected and changed her life.
Dirty Wars and Polished Silver by Lynda Schuster. Melville House. 2017. ISBN 9781612196343 (hardcover), 326p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to participate in the TLC blog tour.
Here's the list of the blog tour stops.
Lynda Schuster’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Broken Teepee – Spotlight: