Her courageous coverage in Korea is rendered in wonderful detail by Conant ... Though Conant’s prose is plain and straightforward, her subject is so full of life that it makes up for any lack of literary flourish. Her painstaking detail would not have been possible without a woman named Kathleen Kearney Keeshen, who spent 12 years in the ’70s and ’80s interviewing Higgins’s fellow reporters, military officials, husbands and lovers for her master’s and PhD theses. It’s fortunate that Keeshan — whom Conant thanks on both the dedication page and at length in the book’s acknowledgments — was not as competitive as Higgins. Because of Conant’s and Keeshan’s collaboration, Higgins’s life is now rendered in full, no longer lost to the march of male-dominated history.
Throughout her book, Conant quotes from a trove of largely unpublished and often strikingly unvarnished interviews with Higgins’s fellow journalists. In assembling these accounts, the author often relies on cliché ... These rote descriptions and sexist binaries, from both Conant and her sources, are tiresome to read but must have been even more exhausting to live inside.