Just over a century ago British troops were fighting a vicious frontier war against Pashtun tribesmen on the North West Frontier – the great-great-grandfathers of the Taliban and tribal insurgents in modern-day Afghanistan. Winston Churchill, then a young cavalry lieutenant, wrote a vivid account of what he saw during his first major campaign. The Story of the Malakand Field Force
, published in 1898, was Churchill’s first book and, a hundred years later, is required reading for both British and American military commanders on the ground.
In Churchill’s First War, noted author and foreign correspondent Con Coughlin tells the story of that campaign, a story of high adventure and imperial success, which contains many lessons and warnings for today. Combining historical narrative, interviews with contemporary key players, and the journalist’s eye for great color and analysis, Churchill’s First War affords us a rare insight into both the 19th Century “Great Game” and the 21st Century conflict that has raged longer than World War II – as well as the 20th Century man who reunited a war-torn world.
Con Coughlin is the Defence Editor of The Daily Telegraph and a world-renowned expert on the Middle East. He is the critically-acclaimed author of several books, including the international bestseller, Saddam: His Rise and Fall. He appears regularly on television and radio in the United States and the United Kingdom to comment on international security issues.
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Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.
Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom