Churchill's First War

Young Winston and the Fight Against the Taliban

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Just over a century ago British troops were fighting a vicious frontier war against Pashtun tribeman 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 military commanders on the ground, both British and American.

In Churchill’s First War, acclaimed 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 colour and analysis Churchill's First War is not only a dramatic piece of military history but affords us a rare insight into both the nineteenth-century ‘Great Game’ and the twenty-first-century conflict that has raged longer than the Second World War and taken more lives than the Falklands.

About Con Coughlin

Con Coughlin is a distinguished journalist and the author of three critically aclaimed books, including the international bestseller Saddam: The Secret Life. He is Defence and Security Editor of the Daily Telegraph, and writes for the Spectator and other periodicals. He is a regular commentator on world affairs for BBC news programmes and Sky News, and is a specialist on the Middle East and International terrorism. His most recent book, American Ally, was published in 2006.

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