Special Features:Cahners Business Information (c) 2002
A self-confessed "war junkie," Stewart covered the frontlines in Kashmir, Cambodia and Kabul before being appointed chief of the Associated Press's West Africa bureau in 1998. Single, in his late 20s, Stewart freely admits being addicted to the "adrenaline rush" of covering dangerous situations; he loved the edginess of beating other reporters to a hard-to-cover story. Apart from the thrills, he had a journalist's sense of mission: that by telling the world about what's happening, he could awaken the public conscience and make a difference. Stewart's game ended at a checkpoint in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when a renegade soldier fired on his vehicle, killing fellow journalist Myles Tierney and leaving a bullet in Stewart's brain. Stewart tells of his recovery: airlift out of Africa, surgery in London and therapy in the U.S. and Canada. He discusses at length his struggle to rehabilitate his torn body, but it's his understated battle to make peace with his uneasy soul that grips the reader. While the adjective-loaded, gung-ho approach to danger in the book's first half may turn off some readers, they'll be rewarded if they sit tight. By the second half, when Stewart's in a hospital bed paying more than his dues, a wiser person begins to emerge, less of a hot-dogger, more thoughtful about the human terms of situations. Readers can then remember that the real story is not the reporter, but the people they were sent to cover. (Oct. 4) Forecast: In the wake of the Daniel Pearl tragedy and any other war atrocities that may hit the front pages, this confessional should be popular, especially with the extensive TV and radio publicity that's planned.
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