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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written
Very accessible read; interestingly linked to current 'War on terrorism' in the region; also great read about upper-class social structures in late-Victorian England and how the white Officer Corps considered themselves superior to 'natives and savages' in the Empire. Should be a textbook read for all politicians who have military ambitions outside their own borders.
Published 10 months ago by Erik H

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A history of folly
I found this book rather instructive as it shows what a folly it is to battle the Taliban when other empires at other times tried and failed in this enterprise. As a book I found its construction rather bitty and the writing sometimes simplistic and regularly seeking validation to its main theme which is comparison of present day operations in Afghanistan with those of...
Published 6 months ago by DIMITRI DRAGAZIS


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A history of folly, 4 Oct 2013
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I found this book rather instructive as it shows what a folly it is to battle the Taliban when other empires at other times tried and failed in this enterprise. As a book I found its construction rather bitty and the writing sometimes simplistic and regularly seeking validation to its main theme which is comparison of present day operations in Afghanistan with those of yesteryear. Occasional snipets of information about Winston`s life, principally extracted from his letters, is refreshing and informative although some times it shows unpleasant sides of his character but then again all great men and women were very unpleasant characters. You do not impose your will on others by being nice. I would definitely recommend it to my friends as my only criterion of a good book is wether I can put it down at times and I must say I could not do that with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 24 Aug 2013
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I bought this book primarily because my grandfather fought in the campaigns of 1897/8 and I wanted to find out more. Most of the book seemed to be about Churchill's life before India and is covered in many other publications. So it seemed as if there was some padding going on here. Coughlin does a useful job in linking the problems Britain faced in the 19th Century on the NW Frontier with those faced by the military in Afghanistan. I would have liked a bit more about the actual campaign which is why I have purchased the Viscount Fincastle, who also fought in the campaign, account.
I would recommend this book to those interested in collecting and reading books about Churchill but don't expect to find much that is new about the man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Churchill's First War (Kindle Edition)
Very accessible read; interestingly linked to current 'War on terrorism' in the region; also great read about upper-class social structures in late-Victorian England and how the white Officer Corps considered themselves superior to 'natives and savages' in the Empire. Should be a textbook read for all politicians who have military ambitions outside their own borders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Churchill vs Taliban, 27 May 2013
By 
M. Baerends - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Fascinating book full of 'things I never knew', for example that Churchill so determined at such a young age to make his mark, nor that his mother had such a predilection for young army officers. Luckily this book is not just about the campaign of the 'Malakand field force' in the middle of nowhere but also has a lot of more general background information about the world in which Churchill grew up.

Clearly Churchill grew up amongst the very elite of that time and he was not shy of using the many connections that were available to him. To his credit he used his 'network' mostly to insert himself into all the trouble spots of the time, starting with a reporting stint in Cuba during the revolution against the Spanish (just before the Spanish-American war). When his regiment got assigned to Bangalore (very much a backwater back then, no IT yet...) he managed to get assigned to the Malakand field force on the Northwest frontier, and of course later he finally had himself forced upon Kitchener's army in the Sudan, followed by his stint during the Boer War. What drove him was the need to make his reputation; not only becoming famous (by publishing on his adventures) but also obtaining the 'badge of honour' of having served with at least some distinction in combat - something he believed to be a prerequisite for his ultimate object of a succesful political career.

Of course the core of the book is on the actions against the 'Taliban' of his day. Coughlin repeatedly makes the point of how similar the combat & especially the combatants in that area are, now and back then. The actions are bloody, the local guerillas fight bravely but are eventually subdued by superior British firepower and Churchill can improve his famosity coefficient by publishing reports in leading newspapers which was what it was all about to him.

All in all, quite a good book. Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough on his "First War", 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Churchill's First War (Kindle Edition)
I found this book a trifle disappointing in that it fails to concentrate on what the title suggests. As another reviewer has pointed out, there's an awful lot of 'padding' with his life covered before reaching the North West Frontier. As a general book on Churchill with an emphasis on his time in India , its fine but don't expect any comprehensive coverage or new revelations on the subject. Overall not bad but leaves reader slightly dissaapointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 7 Oct 2013
Bought this as a gift for my nan who is an avid reader, she said it was packed with stuff and she struggles to stop reading it! Would recommend highly
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5.0 out of 5 stars a well written piece, 7 Sep 2013
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this came very quickly it is for a 95th birthday and much to my surprise he had not read it and was delighted as he has many churchill books a lovely gift
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5.0 out of 5 stars I thought I knew about Churchill - I was wrong, 17 July 2013
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A 'missed' part of Churchill's early life. Interestingly put together with tales about life in those times with regard to Churchill and linked to comments about the current problems in the area.Churchill mentions Fred Burnaby's book ' A Ride To Khiva'. Another A Ride to Khiva: Travels and Adventures in Central Asiafascinating story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, 8 July 2013
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A well written and exhaustively researched book examining Churchill's early military career and the parallels of fighting the Taliban then and now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars History repeating itself!!!, 27 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Churchill's First War (Kindle Edition)
A extremely interesting comparison of a period over 100 years ago and the present. I is a pity our politicians could not have this book before starting an action that they were bound to lose.
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