Now that the Editor of the Evening Standard writes in his own paper on such things as his bewilderment in accompanying his daughter to a fashionable London club, it's possible to forget how well he wrote from the Falklands War almost 20 years ago. The South Atlantic coverage was his finest hour, his brilliant essays of description, motion and analysis. The Falklands chapters are the best in Going to the Wars, an account of the 15 years from 1967 when Hastings criss-crossed the globe on behalf of the Evening Standard and the BBC, taking pleasure in adventure, scoops and big picture bylines in trouble spots such as Northern Ireland, Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East, Cyprus, Rhodesia and India. For one who protests constantly about his own cowardice and physical competence, he is remarkably brave when it comes to finding a story, whether it's in Northern Ireland, Biafra or Israel. Hastings is, of course, driven and egocentric, as a star reporter has to be. His is a story of traditional journalism, where the horror of a foreign battlefield is nothing compared with the fear of being scooped. He favourably compares British reporting standards with American: "British journalism remains rooted in a literary, rather than a political science, tradition, which helps to explain why it produces more and better jokes, if also more shameless fantasists." Max has never been known for his jokes, but his self-deprecation is certainly prodigious. --Kim Fletcher.
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A wonderful account of the wars of our times -- William Shawcross, Literary Review
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The chapters on the Falklands War are ... one of the best things written about warfare in half a century -- John Simpson, Daily Telegraph
This memoir is a first-class piece of reportage -- Jon Swain, Sunday Times