A Fresh Air (NPR) Best Book of the Year – 1994
Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist is the first and only fully documented biography of Bly and integrates a wealth of previously unknown information with a reporter’s zeal for the hard fact. It is the first attempt to give us this legendary figure in all her complexity: the most famous woman journalist of her day, an extraordinary American industrialist, and a compelling humanitarian. Hers is not only an inspiring personal tale, but the story of an exemplar of an age when American women were vigorously asserting their right–indeed, their need–to shape history itself.
From Chapter Four, “The World”:
“Bly would assay the universe through a special lens with her own peculiar tint, and the reader, seeing her name in the headline, knew he or she would be in for an excruciatingly detailed account of whatever she had encountered. How she approached the subject and how she felt about anything that came into her mind at the time, even the most extraneous details, were as essential to the telling as why she had reported the story in the first place. Unlike her unwitting heirs of the 1960s and 1970s, when the phrase New Journalism would come around again, it was not her wit or sarcasm or counter-culture stream-of-consciousness that delivered a ripe audience. It was her compassion and social conscience, buttressed by a disarming bluntness. There was no mind-splitting intellectual insight or noteworthy literary finesse. Bly simply produced, week after week, an uninhibited display of her delight in being female and fearless and her joy in having such an attention-getting place to strut her stuff. It was “gonzo” journalism cloaked in Victoriana. Even her detractors found her too astounding to ignore. . . .”
https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2022/11/nellie-bly-blackwells-island/ “Behind Asylum Bars:” Nellie Bly Reporting from Blackwell’s Island. November 8, 2022 by Amber Paranick “Could I pass a week in the insane ward at Blackwell’s Island? I said I could […]Read More
"... all before she was 25."Read More
Presentation for the American Women Writers Museum, March 10, 2021:Read More
Youtube of presentation, for the Empire State Center for the Book via the Princeton Club of NYC, 18 March 2021:Read More
"Indira Naioo is joined by biographer Brooke Kroeger who beautifully reveals the background and accomplishments by this pioneer, investigative journalist, business leader and inventor."Read More
"Kroeger — who was moved by a biographical sketch of Bly she read when she was ten, then decided to write the first thorough, accurate biography of this inspiring but underappreciated role model when her own daughter turned ten — captures the animating force of Bly’s uncommon character. . . "Read More
Kroeger has pieced together a convincing and scrupulous picture of an extraordinary, courageous, sometimes disagreeable woman of her times.
Kroeger’s painstaking and diligent research has begun to tell the real story of Nellie Bly . . . The author has collected and compiled the details in a narrative that is witty, precise, amazing, and entertaining to read.
It is rare when so comprehensive a book comes along so scarcely researched a topic, but that is what Brooke Kroeger dleivers with Nellie Bly. She gives us a masterpiece so thoroughly researched and so vivid in detail that it leaves the rader believing no stone has been left unturned, no record unchecked, no evidence carelessly tossed aside. . . ” “Kroeger calls her efforts ‘paltry’ compared with other biographers, but looking at the dearth of previous research, she is clearly being modest.
This is not a biography of the ‘heroic’ vein but rather one that paints its subject in all the glowing detail of real life —warts and all.
Kroeger has made a serious, interesting, scholarly book.