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on 25 April 2015
I bought this out of curiosity as it was his first published book. His description of the conditions, the nature of the conflict and the best way of dealing with the problems of the frontier have a highly contemporary ring (if you put aside some of the inevitable assumptions of a nineteenth century British cavalry subaltern). Had his advice that silver is cheaper than bullets when dealing with the tribes of the north west frontier been followed in the twenty first century it might have saved a lot of blood and money.
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on 31 May 2016
Blow-by-blow, I-was-there account of a theatre of war that is less familiar to the the public now than it was in 1895, though just as topical. The main value of the book is the startling insight it provides into how our grandparents viewed life, death, the Empire and everything.
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on 22 July 2014
This is a typical roughy toughie manner of writing up on his flying the flag and fighting its reason for flying it under arms in the 19th century, under difficult conditions in a country whose natives were as brave as one would never have suspected, and fought the British in an uncomprimising and no mercy spared fashion dating back to their ancestors of bygone years.
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on 3 April 2016
This was Winston Churchill's first work. It's good, but lacks the polished and fascinating writing of his later works like The River War or Marlborough. Nevertheless, a fascinating description of a military episode in a period that seems so long ago, yet was in fact very near our own time.
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on 16 October 2009
A frontier story (reality, indeed) of 1900. Told by sir Winston Churchill. A story of just 110 yeasr ago; then, the Malakand Field Force could deal rather easily with the ``natives''. Enjoied it. So easy in those times!
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on 8 November 2010
A very vivid description of the conditions that prevailed on the NW Frontier of India in the late 1890s. A well researched history of what was a small action by world standards but thoroughly interesting in its provision of a backgrounbd to the political and military thinking of the times and the attitudes of the tribesmen. I doubt that the 21st century has changed some of those hill tribes in their outlook as evidenced by the current struggle in the same area.
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on 18 September 2013
Published in 1898 The Malakand Field Force is Churchill’s first book. It had its origin in a series of despatches written for the London Daily Telegraph and so was really the product of Churchill’s need to earn some money as well as to make a name for himself.

Churchill tells the story of the Malakand expedition in which he took part. This was a British punitive force sent to supress a rising on the North Western frontier of India and punish those who disputed the British right to rule. The work shows his very considerable abilities as a reporter. He is particularly good at describing a scene or landscape as he piles up detail on detail and builds up a real sense of place. He is also good at vivid narrative and gives am exciting account of engagements with the native insurgents.

As it stands, it is quite a “good read” and holds the attention but it is also valuable as a picture of the British upper class attitude to empire at that time. In a final reflective chapter, Churchill states his belief that in holding the northern frontiers of India it would be best to mobilise “a nice field force and operate at leisure in the frontier valleys until they are as safe and civilised as Hyde Park Nor need this course necessarily involve the extermination of the inhabitants”. Military rule was the one best suited to the character of the natives.

A book well worth looking through as a vivid picture of another age.
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on 14 March 2013
Churchill at the age of 23 observed and took part in this short war on the north west frontier of India in 1897. He then wrote up his experiences and reflections. The action is described as a brilliant "ripping yarn" but it is his reflections that stop you in your tracks.
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on 6 July 2015
Not light reading. Requires dedication! Excessive on facts. I was looking for more personal memoirs about the great man himself
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on 20 September 2014
Well worth a read, stood the test of time remarkably well.

You will need a good map of Egypt and the Sudan.
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