You Don't Belong Here


“I’ve read widely on that ill-conceived war (Vietnam). If there is one book that will transport you back to that time, that will give you a sense of what it’s like to be on the ground in Southeast Asia, this book is it.”

—Tom Patterson  presenting Elizabeth Becker with the 2022 Goldsmith Award for the best book of 2022 on politics, policy and media.


YOU DON’T BELONG HERE was named a best book of 2021 by Foreign Affairs magazine.


Named one of 10 best audio books on history/biography of 2021.


The Atlantic

The Women Who Changed War Reporting

By George Packer

“Her theme in You Don’t Belong Here—conveyed, with controlled anger, in a riveting narrative using unpublished letters and diaries—is that women reporters changed the way the war was covered.”

“Becker conveys the particular sacrifices that these three women had to make: the indignities, the psychological cost, the elusiveness of stable relationships and children. Still, it’s exhilarating to read Becker’s account of how these women overcame the narrow definitions of their early lives and found themselves by surrendering to the extreme demands of reporting a war.” READ MORE

The Washington Post

Three groundbreaking journalists saw the Vietnam War differently. It’s no coincidence they were women.

By Margaret Sullivan

“Half a century later, the work of these journalists remains inspiring. So is Becker’s clearsighted book, which puts us at the scene, with the advantage of decades of hindsight and her own deep experience. If there’s a wasted or boring word here, I couldn’t find it”. READ MORE


“You Don’t Belong Here is the rare book you can gift your Mom and Dad and assign to students. Both audiences will gather a full picture of the Vietnam conflict and those it enveloped.” READ MORE

The Washington Post

Three female journalists who braved the chaos of Vietnam

“Becker not only shines a light on the contributions of those correspondents – along with the risks they took to show and tell the raw truths of the war as they saw it – but provides a valuable depth of cultural and historical insight into the conflict.

“Another crucial layer emerges as the narrative progresses, and that is the parallel story of American political naïveté in committing a military with a World War II mind-set to a war against a people whose history and culture – and ways of fighting – they made little attempt to comprehend.”

YOU DON’T BELONG HERE is deserving of a wide readership.” READ MORE

Foreign Policy

How 3 Women Broke Into the Uber-Macho World of War Reporting

By Janine Di Giovanni

“In Becker’s compelling book, three extraordinary women—Catherine Leroy, Frances “Frankie” FitzGerald, and Kate Webb—arrive in Vietnam at the height of the war to try to depict the conflict in unique ways. Each is determined to make her mark and to make the war her own. Each becomes captivated by the country, drawn in deeply, and committed to the people and culture. They are equally appalled by the horror of the atrocities and intent on bringing to light the murky U.S. foreign policy in the region.

“She writes beautifully of the heartache the women suffer, their struggles to be taken seriously, the guffaws, the catcalls, the daily small humiliations that amounted to the French photographer’s fierce indictment: You don’t belong here.

“But they did belong. And the proof is their legacy.” READ MORE


By Lawrence D. Freedman

“Becker, who made her name reporting on war in Cambodia and the rise of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, delivers an enthralling biography of three female war correspondents who preceded her in Southeast Asia, reporting on the Vietnam War.

Becker blends their individual stories with wider history, setting the unfolding tragedy in Vietnam in the background as her protagonists develop doubts about the logic and legitimacy of the war.” READ MORE

Times Literary Supplement of London

Becker deftly weaves her own story into the tapestry. “Nothing in my short life had ever mattered as much as witnessing Cambodia’s war as a reporter”, she writes. “I had never felt more alive, more involved, or more vulnerable. I had crossed a line and made a commitment to Cambodia that would be costly.” That cost would include her own experience with captivity, the loss of friends and colleagues, and the heartbreak of witnessing impending genocide. READ MORE

Asia Times

Three saw war, heroism from different perspective
These woman journalists showed sides of the decade-long Vietnam War that their male counterparts didn’t cover

By Mike Tharp

“To do shorthand violence to this memorable work, it might be said that the male correspondents focused on the blood and guts of Vietnam. Webb, FitzGerald and Leroy focused on the hearts and minds.”

“Becker transforms what could have been a good book into a prize-worthy page-turner of tension, suspense and drama. The tone of the book intensifies with each chapter (all deftly named). Becker never loses sight of her goal to illuminate these women in the larger context of America’s biggest foreign policy disaster of the 20th century.” READ MORE

Electric Literature

Becker, who began her journalistic career covering Pol Pot’s rise to power in Cambodia, turns her focus to her female colleagues in Vietnam, plucking out the stories of an American, an Australian, and a French journalist. Becker draws on letters and interviews to tell the stories of women plunged into a mostly male world, where they encountered Western sexism in equal or greater measure than that which they’d already known in their home countries. READ MORE

Le Monde

Le Monde, the great French newspaper, published two pages about the rediscovery of Catherine Leroy, centering the article on YOU DON’T BELONG HERE, calling it “tremendous.” READ MORE

Public Books

“This group biography is told with the clear poignancy that characterizes Becker’s reporting. And it brings to the fore the compassionate witness that Becker, and the three women who “rewrote the story of war,” brought to the conflict.” READ MORE

The Journal of America’s Military Past

Fall 2021

“Elizabeth Becker’s fine book is a wonderful portrayal of their unstoppable courage and determination. This book is recommended for historians of all wars and is a haunting mirror by which we can try to understand the long war concluding in our own time.”

Book Page

By Deborah Hopkinson

“Many barriers were eventually broken, thanks in part to the extraordinary women Becker profiles so adroitly here, combining their personal histories with the major events of the conflict……You Don’t Belong Here is a significant contribution to the history of both the Vietnam War and women in journalism.” READ MORE

The National Review

5 Hot Books: Iconic Women War Correspondents, the Cost of Racism, and More

You Don’t Belong Here: How Three Women Rewrote the Story of Warby Elizabeth Becker (PublicAffairs) Group biography at its best, Becker’s book brings to life its trio of intrepid female journalists who redefined the role of women in war reporting and enhanced appreciation of the nuances of the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia. The trio were the brilliant magazine writer Frances FitzGerald, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fire in the Lake; stunning photographer Catherine Leroy; and fierce combat reporter Kate Webb. Becker contends that these journalists transformed the war story: “They were outsiders – excluded by nature from the confines of male journalism, with all its presumptions and easy jingoism.” A journalist herself, Becker followed the trail blazed by these women in Southeast Asia, reporting on the war from Cambodia, which gives her a unique, nuanced understanding of the region’s landscape and dynamics.” READ MORE

Southeast Asian Globe

‘I saw things differently than men’: Elizabeth Becker on covering war in Cambodia

By Allegra Mendelson

The Cambodian conflict of the 1970s was predominantly told through the male lens. But Elizabeth Becker, as one of the few women journalists reporting on the frontline, endeavoured to cast a light on the female experience of war.  READ MORE

Australian Reviews

You Don’t Belong Here

Elizabeth Becker, Black Inc, $32.99

Reporting on the Vietnam War was a tough gig in itself. But the three women reporters featured in this heady history were also fighting a war against prejudices of their colleagues, the military and society in general about women’s fitness to report on war. While from very different backgrounds, French photographer Catherine Leroy, American journalist Frances FitzGerald and Australian reporter Kate Webb were gutsy mavericks who kept a low profile and went their own way. Leroy jumped with paratroopers to shoot a major airborne offensive, Webb was captured by the North Vietnamese and survived to tell her tale and FitzGerald sought the bigger picture behind the frontline. All brought a fresh lens to the war and never lost sight of the unfolding human tragedy beyond the politics.—The Age/Sydney Morning Herald

‘It is as engaging to read as it is critically enlightening in these times.’ —Raymond Bonner, The Australian

‘Becker weaves together a wonderful and compelling picture of determination, talent and sacrifice that changed the face of journalism.’ —Herald Sun

‘The women who went there [Vietnam War]  set a new standard for reporting, developing a deeper, more humane way of writing about war and its terrible, needless suffering.’ —Inside Story

‘The untold stories of three brilliant female journalists – Aussie, French and US – who challenged taboos as war reporters.’ —Australian Women’s Weekly

‘Their [Leroy, FitzGerald & Webb] exploits make for thrilling reading and in the process the history of the 19-year conflict takes on a new significance.’ —Australian Country Style

The Herald Sun (Australia)
Saturday 15th May 202

Pioneering Trio Who Helped Pave the Way

You would have thought that by the late ’60s and early ’70s women would have been seen as equals and comrades in journalism. But as foreign and war correspondents, they were told they were not made for the job. Had the men who tried to block French photographer Catherine Leroy, the American Frances FitzGerald and renowned Australian journalist Kate Webb from covering the Vietnam War and other conflicts never heard of their frontline predecessors Nelly Bly, Margaret Bourke-White and Martha Gellhorn? Probably not. Whether the men who tried to keep them on the “women’s pages” were being paternalistic or misogynistic, they failed miserably to deter these and other women. The multiple biography is a difficult genre in which to get the right balance but here Becker weaves together a wonderful and compelling picture of determination, talent and sacrifice that changed the face of journalism.


Overbooked CoverElizabeth talks about OVERBOOKED

“An impassioned expose”
— The Wall Street Journal

“Her intelligently written and fascinating book shows that while the lure of travel may be timelessly human, the modern tourist industry is ever changing, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better.”

“As Elizabeth Becker observes in “Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism,” her meticulously reported and often disturbing exposé of the travel industry, the world has gotten smaller — but not often for the better. A former…”
New York Times

“The definitive account of the rise of the modern tourism industry, from its beginnings as a small, fanciful pastime among elites, to its explosive growth after World War II, to its present as an economic engine valued at $7 trillion.”
Bloomberg Businessweek

“Elizabeth Becker has found a giant gap in journalistic coverage and stepped squarely into the middle of it. Even though it’s under our noses,  beneath our feet, even in our happier dreams, rarely has the investigative story she recounts in her new book previously received the coverage it deserves: The rampant growth of travel and tourism.”

“Elizabeth Becker makes a convincing case for treating tourism as the serious, consequential industry it is in “Overbooked,” her thoughtful, sometimes contentious examination of the field. Her research is personal and thorough, her goals admirable, her analysis perceptive…”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Arthur Frommer recommends OVERBOOKED as “required reading for anyone interested in the future of travel.”

“Ms. Becker is a skilled, critical writer delivering illuminating information, telling engaging stories, and advancing her own personal observations. Overbooked appeals to a wide audience: those who make the billion trips annually; those who have a stake in the places impacted, sometimes for better, but all too often for worse, by those travelers’ visits; and all who have a stake in the global economy.”

“Elizabeth Becker’s latest book was in part, born out of frustration. The seasoned journalist, who got her start as a war correspondent, began to notice a growing global economic force; a sector of the global economy changing whole societies and ecosystems but one relegated to the lifestyle section of most major papers.”

“Will tourism in America go the way of Venice and Cambodia, or France and Costa Rica? Elizabeth Becker’s thoughtful, informed book should move that discussion along.”
Seattle Times

When to War Was Over Cover“A work of the first importance.”
The New York Times

“The definitive book on the Cambodian revolution…at once impassioned and impartial, the work of a woman who was there and who understands the ideals that connect this period of world history with the people who made it.”
—The Los Angles Times

“Burns with its own fire, the fire of a dedicated writer who witnessed the incomprehensible and worked long and hard to comprehend it….an impressive feat of scholarship and reporting:  intelligent, measured, resourceful, and – I do not say this lightly – courageous.”
—The Washington Post

“Monumentally impressive…Becker writes history the way history should be written.”
—The Financial Times

“This brilliant book, refurbished and updated since its original publication, is proper history, in which events begin long before they actually happen, and consequences linger.”
—The Economist

“Enfin, pourrait-on dire, le livre qu’on attendait sur le Cambodge.”
—Le Figaro Magazine