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Searching for the Queen's Cowboys Paperback – Oct 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Bratonmax (Oct. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0968325610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0968325612
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 22.5 x 15 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #477,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harley Hay on Jan. 2 2010
Format: Paperback
"Searching for the Queen's Cowboys" is a fascinating and insightful look at Canada's significant involvement in the Anglo-Boer War, while at the same time deftly chronicling the past, present and future of South Africa,. And it's told with humor, depth and keen understanding by a man who is traveling with his son from Canada, returning to his African homeland to film a documentary on the history of Strathcona's Horse in that beautiful, troubled country.

Like a literary juggler keeping all the balls in the air at once, Tony Maxwell effectively tells three stories at the same time - skillfully interweaving the tale of traveling to South Africa making a film with his son Brad, with the meticulous details and absorbing anecdotes tracing the epic battle between the local Boers and the British at the turn of the last century, all the while providing insights and thoughtful observations on the political and social complexities of modern day South Africa.

In fact, each of the three stories on their own make compelling reading. The Maxwells' journey to the battlefields and graves and to the towns and cities to shoot footage for their documentary reads at times like an adventure story, complete with a cast of interesting characters along the way, and an intricate mix of intrigue, risk, and discovery.

The fascinating story of the Anglo-Boer War itself is told with formidable knowledge and respect for the meticulous details of both side of the conflict, and one of Maxwell's strengths is the ability to make the terrors and triumphs come grippingly alive for the reader.
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Format: Paperback
In this well written and meticulously researched book, Tony Maxwell takes an insightful look at South Africa, both historic and modern. Maxwell and his son go on a pilgrimage, filming a documentary about Canadian soldiers who fought in the Anglo Boer War.

Maxwell, born in South Africa, writes with engaging humor, deep affection and more than a little sadness about the land of his birth. Very few people truly understand all the intricacies of South Africa's convoluted history. Maxwell makes it poignantly clear how one tragedy built on another, resulting in the troubled conditions that presently exist in the country.

Tony Maxwell, filmmaker, also has a gift for bringing written scenes alive in a compelling manner. He tells the story of Canada's Queen's Cowboys, the mounted regiment raised and equipped by Lord Strathcona in 1900, sent off to fight in South Africa. But the book is many layered, filled with engaging tales of Maxwell's adventures as a younger man in both South Africa and London, and also the quest, with his son, to trace the path of the Queen's Cowboys.

Every journey leads to self- discovery, and every good book leaves it's reader enriched. This excellent book brought a personal awareness of a portion of Canada's history nearly forgotten, and of a beautiful country beleaguered by corruption and incompetence. By shining a clear, uncompromising light on South Africa, Tony Maxwell's book may help shine away some of the darkness.
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Format: Paperback
A Book review - by Jesse Bargholz

Searching for the Queen's Cowboys Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in Canadian military history and, in particular, the story of the Strathcona's Horse regiment and its service in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 -1902.

The author, Tony Maxwell, grew up in South Africa and from an early age, was interested in the Anglo-Boer War. When he moved to Canada this interest continued with his research into the history of Strathcona's Horse and the decision he and his son made to produce a documentary film on the early days of that regiment.

This book tells of their adventures in South Africa searching for the battlefields and graves of "The Queen's Cowboys," (as the Strathcona's were sometimes known) while filming the documentary. The author also writes of their experiences interacting with South Africans of all walks of life and the insights they brought to the past, present and future challenges faced by this fascinating country. This book really advanced my knowledge of the country's past history and present situation.

As a world traveller of some experience and a member of the Mounted Forces Association of Canada, I heartily recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
GOING HOME AGAIN Jan. 21 2010
By bobbyhutchinson.ca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this well written and meticulously researched book, Tony Maxwell takes an insightful look at South Africa, both historic and modern. Maxwell and his son go on a pilgrimage, filming a documentary about Canadian soldiers who fought in the Anglo Boer War.

Maxwell, born in South Africa, writes with engaging humor, deep affection and more than a little sadness about the land of his birth. Very few people truly understand all the intricacies of South Africa's convoluted history. Maxwell makes it poignantly clear how one tragedy built on another, resulting in the troubled conditions that presently exist in the country.

Tony Maxwell, filmmaker, also has a gift for bringing written scenes alive in a compelling manner. He tells the story of Canada's Queen's Cowboys, the mounted regiment raised and equipped by Lord Strathcona in 1900, sent off to fight in South Africa. But the book is many layered, filled with engaging tales of Maxwell's adventures as a younger man in both South Africa and London, and also the quest, with his son, to trace the path of the Queen's Cowboys.

Every journey leads to self- discovery, and every good book leaves it's reader enriched. This excellent book brought a personal awareness of a portion of Canada's history nearly forgotten, and of a beautiful country beleaguered by corruption and incompetence. By shining a clear, uncompromising light on South Africa, Tony Maxwell's book may help shine away some of the darkness.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Insightful, Well Written, Fun Jan. 25 2010
By John Hamill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
'Searching for the Queen's Cowboys' is an interesting combination of military history, political history, and travelogue along with the story of the author's life. Most interesting, perhaps, is the discussion of South Africa today. The author, Tony Maxwell, was born in South Africa, where as a child he visited battlefields and unearthed artifacts, developing an appreciation of the country's military history. Tony immigrated at an early age to Canada and discovered that few Canadians knew that their country had sent troops to fight in the Boer War. Traveling to South Africa to film a documentary on a Canadian cavalry unit, Tony and his son find that post-apartheid South Africa is a deeply troubling and crime ridden land. Car jacking is common. Murder rates are on a par with Columbia, which is in the midst of a low grade civil war. Gangs of armed thieves tear down the gates of fort-like houses to rob them, while the police and private security firms avoid a confrontation by intentionally arriving too late to be of help. The government ignores the fact that a substantial portion of the population has HIV/AIDS and fails to condemn the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in neighboring Zimbabwe. Tony shows the convoluted political history of the country in a brutally honest and straight forward manner, showing few genuine heroes in the course of South African politics. In the end, 70% of the white population voted to give the black population the vote. The oppressed black population was poorly prepared to rule, however, or even to function in the workplace. Corruption, crime, and unemployment are rampant, and the country appears to be descending into anarchy.

Military history, my main interest, seems to be the secondary subject of the book - at best - and the Strathcona Horse, the subject of Tony's documentary, is mentioned relatively infrequently in relation to the war as a whole. That isn't a bad thing by any means, though. The book's descriptions of battles and campaigns are compelling and understandable despite a dearth of maps, an all too common problem with books now. The author frequently shifts between military history, political history, modern South Africa, and his own experiences - making for compelling reading. This well written book is hard to put down and should appeal to a broad range of readers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Great Read.... Jan. 2 2010
By Harley Hay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Searching for the Queen's Cowboys" is a fascinating and insightful look at Canada's significant involvement in the Anglo-Boer War, while at the same time deftly chronicling the past, present and future of South Africa,. And it's told with humor, depth and keen understanding by a man who is traveling with his son from Canada, returning to his African homeland to film a documentary on the history of Strathcona's Horse in that beautiful, troubled country.

Like a literary juggler keeping all the balls in the air at once, Tony Maxwell effectively tells three stories at the same time - skillfully interweaving the tale of traveling to South Africa making a film with his son Brad, with the meticulous details and absorbing anecdotes tracing the epic battle between the local Boers and the British at the turn of the last century, all the while providing insights and thoughtful observations on the political and social complexities of modern day South Africa.

In fact, each of the three stories on their own make compelling reading. The Maxwells' journey to the battlefields and graves and to the towns and cities to shoot footage for their documentary reads at times like an adventure story, complete with a cast of interesting characters along the way, and an intricate mix of intrigue, risk, and discovery.

The fascinating story of the Anglo-Boer War itself is told with formidable knowledge and respect for the meticulous details of both side of the conflict, and one of Maxwell's strengths is the ability to make the terrors and triumphs come grippingly alive for the reader.

And the author's return to the place of his birth after a forty year absence brings to the book a significant point of view and leads to unique recollections and, at times, unsettling opinions and conclusions that place "Searching for the Queen's Cowboys" much more than a book of history or travel.

For anyone with even a passing interest in the Boer War or South Africa itself, this book is a must-read.

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