Gloucester CIty Hall
“Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir”
Greenway, the author of the recently published “Foreign Correspondent: A Memoir,” will talk about lessons learned in a lifetime as a reporter. Over his long career, he was the quintessential foreign correspondent, following a profession that can almost be traced back as far as Thucydides’ accounts of the Peloponnesian War, a path trod ever since by dedicated men and women committed to witnessing and describing wars and world events around the globe. In the tradition of such great foreign correspondents as Ernie Pyle, Martha Gellhorn, Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam, Dexter Filkins, and James Foley, he went where the story was, and often found that covering foreign affairs meant covering wars and finding himself in the middle of combat.
Greenway was in the jungles of Vietnam in that war’s most dangerous days, and left Saigon by helicopter from the American embassy as the city was falling. He was wounded in Vietnam and awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded Marine. Reporting first for Time Magazine, then the Washington Post and the Boston Globe, he has covered civil wars in Lebanon and the Balkans, both Gulf Wars, and the endless conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Witnessing successive American leaders trying to cast their overseas adventures in epic terms, from global battle against a perceived communist threat to a fantasized threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to a perceived need to fight “terrorism” wherever it arose, he witnessed “the sometimes tragic efforts of the United States to fill the vacuum of retreating empires” and to fail to recognize the legitimate aspirations of former colonial peoples, in Asia and the Middle East. “The central story of our time,” he writes, is of “America stepping into other people’s empires,” and its faltering efforts to hope that the outcome of repeating the mistakes of its predecessors will somehow be different.
Greenway is currently a contributing columnist for The Boston Globe, The International Herald Tribune and GlobalPost. He was the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe, and before that its national editor, and foreign editor tasked with setting up the Globe‘s foreign news bureaus. As a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, he was posted to Jerusalem, Saigon and Hong Kong; for Time magazine he was stationed in London, Washington, Saigon, Bangkok, Hong Kong and the United Nations. He has reported from 96 countries, and covered conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He served in the U.S. Navy, was educated at Yale and Oxford, and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard in 1971. In 2009 he was awarded the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
Copies of his book will be available for sale.