One-Minute Book Reviews

November 12, 2022

Ukraine’s First Lady Is A Heroine For Our Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 9:13 pm
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In one of my first journalism jobs, I was the book critic for Glamour, which had its offices two flights down from sister magazine Vogue in the Condé Nast building. I also wrote feature articles for the magazine, not unlike a profile of Ukraine’s first lady that appeared recently in Vogue.

The story on Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukraine’s president, has drawn sharp and often ill-informed criticism. Some of the barbs have shown a startling lack of sympathy for the tragedies Ukraine has suffered since Russian invaded it on Feb, 24, 2022. Others have been misleading or seemed to reflect no understanding of how magazines work.

A number of critics, for example, have faulted Zelenska for appearing in Vogue in wartime when Eleanor Roosevelt did the same thing and when 11 of the past 12 U.S. first ladies have been in the magazine during crises such as the aftermath of 9/11 and the wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Over on Medium, I’ve deconstructed the flap and described–from journalist’s point of view–what’s wrong with it. In the same article, I argue that Zelenska may turn out to be the greatest first lady since Roosevelt.

If you’re interested in the controversy, you’ll find my story here:

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