Looks like you're in the UK! 🇬🇧

This is our US website. If you'd like to make a donation or sign-up for email updates please visit our UK website.

Stay in the US | Continue to the UK

Looks like you're in Germany! 🇩🇪

This is our US website. If you'd like to make a donation or sign-up for email updates please visit our Germany website.

Stay in the US | Continue to Germany

Book Club Series – On All Fronts

“If I couldn’t get accountability from the men in power, I would try to get it by showing the truth of what was happening on the ground.”

Welcome to the Women for Women International Book Club! This month we’re reading On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward.  

CNN Chief International Correspondent, award-winning journalist, and Women for Women International Ambassador Clarissa Ward pens the story of her life in the recently released On All Fronts. Dedicated to telling the stories of people living in the most difficult places to reach, Clarissa channels her own, while continuing to shine light on the people living in the middle of war and the people bridging the global gap to them. 

And this month's book is especially exciting: On December 10th, Clarissa Ward will join us for a Hope Beyond the Headlines episode as part of the 16 Days of Activism. She will discuss her book, women in conflict, and women's power. 

What is On All Fronts about? 

Book cover for On All Fronts by Clarissa Ward

Trigger warning: Conflict, physical violence 

Clarissa begins with her girlhood in New York City then London and finding her journalistic calling after the September 11th attacks in her hometown. As Clarissa spreads her wings, she takes a string of international opportunities in media, before finally getting more steady work with Fox News in places like Beirut and Iraq. Through her first few jobs, Clarissa learns about the limitations of reporting in the middle of conflict. In vivid detail, she shares her experiences in Russia and China, about jobs in Japan and Afghanistan, and the humanity she witnesses in all these places — the compassion, the horror, and the grays in-between.  

But it is in Syria during its devastating civil war that Clarissa writes of heartache and the desperation to show the world an unimaginable truth to some but a brutal and devastating reality to many. She writes of the incredible kindness she encounters from people living in war zones, and of the people she loses to time, death, and ideologies.  

All throughout her autobiography, Clarissa weaves: in and out of dangerous areas, and in and out of situations where women are traditionally permitted to the private spaces men cannot join. As she does, Clarissa threads different facets of womanhood, from the privileges of going between some of those spaces to the disrespect women face everywhere.  

Discussion Questions 

Check out the discussion questions below and connect with readers on Instagram to share your reactions, thoughts and questions by using the hashtag #WFWIBookClub, and tagging us with @womenforwomen. We want to hear what you think—share with us your take on the book! 

  1. Much of the first few chapters follow Clarissa’s early experiences reporting internationally as she learns to navigate other cultures. What are some of the ways her womanhood impacts her ability to go through the world compared to her men counterparts?  

  2. In what ways do people’s expectations of Clarissa performing womanhood change because of her being a Western woman? 

  3. What are some of the challenges Clarissa faces as a woman journalist? How does being a woman help her journalism?  

  4. What are some examples of how Clarissa demonstrates the difference between women’s experiences of conflict versus men’s? The different impact of conflict on women versus men? 

  5. Clarissa laments the reduction of complex situations to the binary ideas of good and evil. What are the dangers of seeing the world with a black and white ideology?  

  6. What does the book suggest is the role of journalism and storytelling in relation to these binaries? 

Subscribe to us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to catch Clarissa Ward's Hope Beyond the Headlines interview on December 10!