Officer's identification card, No. 296054, for Mrs. Antoinette Frissell Bacon, photographer for the American Red Cross

Talented, wealthy, beautiful, and controversial, Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) is best remembered as a congresswoman (1942-1946), ambassador, playwright, socialite, and spouse of magazine magnate Henry R. Luce of Time-Life-Fortune. Less familiar is Luce's wartime journalism, which included a book, Europe in the Spring (1940) and many on-location articles for Life.

Though she covered a wide range of World War II battlefronts, Luce considered her war reportage merely "time off" from her true vocation as playwright. Nonetheless, Luce endured the discomforts, frustrations, and dangers encountered by even the most seasoned war correspondent. Besides experiencing bombing raids in Europe and the Far East, she faced house arrest in Trinidad by British Customs when a draft Life article about poor military preparedness in Libya proved too accurate for Allied comfort. Luce's unsettling observations led longtime friend Winston Churchill to revamp Middle Eastern military policy.

Luce's initial encounter with the war in 1940 produced Europe in the Spring, her first non- fiction book. Anxious to convince fellow Americans of the dangers of isolationism, Luce wrote a vivid, anecdotal account of her four-month visit to "a world where men have decided to die together because they are unable to find a way to live together."

Luce's Career Launched at Vanity Fair

[Clare Boothe Luce], c. 1935. Clare Boothe Luce Collection

Poster for Anti-Nazi Film

Margin for Error, Hollywood: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 1943

"I Decided To Go to Europe and See About the War"

Clare Boothe Luce, Europe in the Spring, Alfred A. Knopf, 1940, title page. General Collections, Library of Congress (102)

Trip to Pacific War Zone

George Rodger, [General Chiang Kai-Shek and Madame Chiang welcome Clare Boothe Luce], April 1942

Luce Interview with General Stilwell

George Rodger, [General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell arrives at his Maymyo headquarters and speaks with Clare Boothe Luce and Captain Fred Eldridge], April 7, 1942

"My insides had not stopped quivering. …"

George Rodger, [Clare Boothe Luce photographing casualties in Maymyo, Burma], April 8, 1942

Japanese Attack on Maymyo, Burma

Clare Boothe Luce, [Wounded Burmese], April 8, 1942

Profile of General MacArthur

Clare Boothe, "MacArthur of the Far East," Life, December 8, 1941, pp. 123 -122

Luce with Philippine President Quezon

[Luce with Manuel Quezon and Admiral Thomas Hart], October 1941

Luce's Burma Article

Clare Boothe, "Burma Mission," Life, June 15, 1942, pp. 94-95

World Leaders in Luce's Circle

[Clare Boothe Luce with Jacques Phillipe Leclerc] c. 1944

World Leaders in Luce's Circle

[Clare Boothe Luce with George S. Patton, Jr.] c. 1944

Censorship in the Name of Security

[Clare Boothe Luce in Cairo], June 1942

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