Frances FitzGerald (journalist)

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For other people named Frances FitzGerald, see Frances FitzGerald (disambiguation).
Frances FitzGerald

Frances FitzGerald (born October 21, 1940 in New York City)[1] is an American journalist and historian, who is primarily known for Fire in the Lake (1972), an acclaimed journalistic account of the Vietnam War.

Early life[edit]

FitzGerald's parents were New York lawyer Desmond FitzGerald and socialite Marietta Peabody. As a teenager she wrote voluminous letters to Governor Adlai Stevenson expressing her opinion on many subjects, a reflection of her deep interest in world affairs.[2] She graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College.


FitzGerald's first book Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972) was met with great acclaim when it was published, and remains one of the most notable books about the Vietnam War. For it she won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and the U.S. National Book Award in Contemporary Affairs.[3][4]

FitzGerald's subsequent published works include America Revised (1979), a highly critical review of history textbooks; Cities on a Hill (1987); Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War (2000), a Pulitzer finalist;[5] "Rewriting American history", a short article in The Norton Reader; and Vietnam: Spirits of the Earth (2002).

FitzGerald's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Architectural Digest, and Rolling Stone. She serves on the editorial boards of The Nation and Foreign Policy, and is vice-president of International PEN.

Personal life[edit]

FitzGerald is married to James P. Sterba, a former writer for The Wall Street Journal; they live in New York City and Maine, which Sterba featured in his 2003 book Frankie's Place: A Love Story.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Her letters are in the Adlai Stevenson Collection at Princeton University.
  3. ^ "General Nonfiction". Past winners and finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  4. ^ "National Book Awards – 1973" (web). National Book Awards. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-03. .
    There was a "Contemporary" or "Current" award category from 1972 to 1980.
  5. ^ "History". Past winners and finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  6. ^ Frankie's Place A Love Story by Jim Sterba. (This is the home page 2012-03-17.)

External links[edit]