Raddatz, Martha 1953-

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Raddatz, Martha 1953-


Born 1953, in Salt Lake City, UT; married Tom Gjelten; children: Greta Bradlee.


Home—Arlington, VA.


Writer, journalist, broadcaster, and television news correspondent. National Public Radio (NPR), Pentagon correspondent, 1993-98; ABC News, U.S. State Department correspondent, 1999-2005, Chief White House correspondent, 2005—; also worked as Senior National Security correspondent. Worked as chief correspondent at ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB-TV. Contributor to television news programs, including World News with Charles Gibson, Weekend World News, This Week, Washington Week in Review, ABC Evening News, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Charlie Rose Show, and Nightline. Guest on radio shows, including Washington Week, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).


Overseas Press Club Award, 1996, for her coverage of assassination of Yitzhak Rabin; National Headliner Award for team coverage of 1988 presidential campaign; Peabody Award and Emmy Award, for coverage of the U.S. State Department following September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; Emmy Award for coverage of Kosovo and for coverage of Elian Gonzales case, Weekend World News; Radio and Television News Director Association first-place award (two-time recipient); Associated Press first-place award (two-time recipient).


The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, Putnam (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including the New Republic.


Martha Raddatz is a writer and broadcast journalist whose career has taken her into dangerous and tumultuous war zones, the troubled scenes of assassinations, and into the deepest halls of the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, and the White House. Raddatz has worked in broadcasting for both television and radio; as a correspondent for NPR, she covered the Pentagon, and as an ABC News reporter, she covered the U.S. State Department and currently serves as the chief White House correspondent. Raddatz's reporting has been international in scope, and she has worked in areas such as the Soviet Union, the Philippines, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Her journalistic work has been recognized with a Peabody Award as well as three Emmy Awards and other notable awards. Her print journalism frequently appears in the New Republic.

Her work brings Raddatz into contact with all areas of the Bush administration. She frequently travels to Iraq to cover the ongoing war there, and has done so since the invasion commenced in 2003. She was the first to break the important story of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, an event that was considered a major development in the struggle against the Iraqi insurgency, noted a biographer on the ABC News Web site.

Raddatz's work in the Iraqi war zone serves as the background for The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family. In the book, Raddatz tells the story of a platoon of 1st Cavalry Division soldiers who, while on a humanitarian mission in the Shiite-populated slum of Sadr City, were besieged by hundreds of attacking members of Moqtada al-Sadr's Shiite militia. Only hours before, the solders had arrived from their base at Fort Hood, Texas. Unaccustomed to combat, surprised by the attack, and jolted by their foes' ferocity, the troops fought back and struggled to survive. Their opposition even included women and children. Caught in a withering crossfire, the platoon fought, not for advantage, but merely to stay alive as other soldiers attempted to rescue them and also met with lethal weapons fire and strong resistance. Raddatz carefully and succinctly describes the combat without downplaying the violence and physical effects of battle. "The battle scenes are unflinching, and the narrative riveting," commented Bev Russel in a review on the Scottsbluff Public Library Web site. Raddatz also weaves in the story of the soldiers' family members back in Texas, unaware of the grave danger their husbands and sons were facing on that Sunday morning in Iraq, and how they reacted to the inevitable news of death and injury in the battle. In total, eight soldiers died and seventy were wounded. One of the dead was SPC Casey Sheehan, son of noted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, who had volunteered to take another soldier's place in the rescue mission. Raddatz has "painstakingly reconstructed the event from every conceivable angle, including the he said/she said reactions of soldiers in Iraq and their wives in Fort Hood, Texas," noted Janet Maslin in a New York Times review.

"Raddatz is a top-notch reporter, and in The Long Road Home, her first book, she proves to be a masterful storyteller," observed David Takami in the Seattle Times. "Raddatz's account has grit and high drama, even if it's possible to know who will survive the battle by whether Raddatz describes a soldier's inner thoughts or what his comrades imagined him thinking," commented Maslin. Raddatz, mused a Publishers Weekly contributor, "clearly aims to equal the storytelling in Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down in her account of the battle, and hits the mark with distinction." The book is "rich in detail, easy to read, funny, profane, sad, infuriating, and very human," commented John E. Taylor in the Military Review. "To read her succinct, trenchant prose is to experience what we may not want to experience—but need to," remarked Booklist critic Brad Hooper.

Raddatz's account of the harrowing trials of the soldiers "delivers searingly vivid evidence of the toll U.S. soldiers pay," Maslin concluded. "This is an important and profoundly moving story, one that hasn't been told enough, about the war in Iraq from the vantage of people who are fighting it," Takami stated. In a Washington Post Book World review, critic Andrew Carroll remarked that "Raddatz provides arresting and lyrical moments throughout the book that are clearly the result of a reporter's meticulous research and a poet's eye for detail." Carroll called The Long Road Home "a masterpiece of literary nonfiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it."



Army, April 2007, Gregory Fontenot, "‘Black Sunday’ Ambush—A Compelling, Individualized Account," review of The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family, p. 77.

Booklist, December 15, 2006, Brad Hooper, review of The Long Road Home, p. 4.

Broadcasting & Cable, November 7, 2005, Allison Romano, "ABC's Raddatz Is White House Bound," p. 3.

Entertainment Weekly, March 2, 2007, Jennifer Reese, review of The Long Road Home, p. 72.

Hollywood Reporter, November 16, 2005, "Raddatz on White House Beat for ABC," p. 75.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2007, review of The Long Road Home, p. 66.

Military Review, May 1, 2007, John E. Taylor, review of The Long Road Home, p. 124.

New York Times, March 12, 2007, Janet Maslin, "Visceral Tales from Iraq, Where Life-Changing Days Are Just the Start of Pain," review of The Long Road Home.

Publishers Weekly, January 8, 2007, review of The Long Road Home, p. 44.

Seattle Times, March 2, 2007, David Takami, "Inside Hearts, Minds of Foot Soldiers," review of The Long Road Home.

USA Today, February 26, 2007, Peter Johnson, "The Long Road Home Chronicles Ambush in Iraq, Aftermath," review of The Long Road Home.

Washington Post Book World, March 25, 2007, Andrew Carroll, "Under Fire," review of The Long Road Home, p. 3.


Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (December 5, 2007), filmography of Martha Raddatz.

McMorran Place Web site, http://www.mcmorran.com/ (December 5, 2007).

Midwest Book Review,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (December 5, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of The Long Road Home.

National Military Family Association Web site, http://www.nmfa.org/ (December 5, 2007), Nancy Alsheimer, review of The Long Road Home.

NNDB,http://www.nndb.com/ (December 5, 2007), biography of Martha Raddatz.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Web site, http://www.pbs.org/ (December 15, 2004), interview with Martha Raddatz.

Scottsbluff Public Library Web site, http://scottsbluff.org/lib/ (December 5, 2007), Bev Russell, review of The Long Road Home.

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