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In 1935 socialite Virginia Coles was a society-girl columnist for toney magazines like Harper’s Bazzar, writing about fashion and gossip. She traveled the world writing light pieces about the places visited. Then in Italy she encountered Mussolini and his fascists and her career took a different turn. She became a war correspondent.
“Looking for Trouble: The Classic Memoir of a Trailblazing War Correspondent,” by Virginia Cowles tells that story. It is her memoirs during the period 1936 through 1941, collected from the columns she wrote for various US magazines over that period.
During that period she was everywhere. She covered the Spanish Civil War, her first attempt at being a war correspondent. She was the only correspondent to report from both sides of the conflict, visiting both Republican and Nationalist Spain during the struggle. It proved addictive. From there she went on to cover events in Europe as the continent slid into World War II.