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Journalist, political essayist, and international correspondent Flora Lewis died at 79 on this date in 2002. Lewis wrote for the New York Times, Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and other newspapers, and blazed a trail for women as international reporters. Among the historical events she covered were the 1948 and 1967 Israeli-Arab wars, the 1956 Soviet crackdown on Hungary, the Vietnam war, and the 1990 reunification of Germany — with “insightful reports and commentaries,” writes Ari Goldman at the Jewish Women’s Archive, that “helped explain some of the most significant international events of the second half of the twentieth century to millions of newspaper readers. . . . Lewis wrote in a lucid, accessible style that made complex things clear without diluting the nuances that made them complex. And she wrote with a sense of history that few correspondents could match.”

”The old idea was that history was about kings and popes and wars; people, yes, but only the few who held dazzling power. More and more people are coming to realize that they can choose their history. What a wonderful time to have been able to watch up close!” —Flora Lewis