Murray Brewster, award-winning veteran defense correspondent for The Canadian Press, has covered the war in Afghanistan from Kandahar and forward-operating bases, the corridors of power in Ottawa and Washington, and NATO headquarters. He is courageous and tenacious, a journalist whose hard work resulted in interviews with Canadian troops, officials and warlords alike. He broke the story of Ottawa's attempts to silence whistle-blower Richard Colvin's story of tortured Afghan prisoners.
The narrative in The Savage War tackles the latter five years of the conflict. Brewster elicited first-hand commentary from the troops and senior members of the forces. Mandarins in Ottawa also gave Brewster face time, and he rigorously followed debate and parliamentary inquiries as the war ground on.
At the heart of the book are the Afghan people, whose land is a war zone. They are the human face of this conflict, and Brewster travelled to their villages and won their confidence to get their stories.
A superb story-teller, Brewster adds a dimension to the book: his own insights and hard-hitting criticism. His eyes and ears are those of every Canadian who has a desire to better understand a war half a world away that at times divided the nation, galvanized government controversy, cost hundreds of millions of dollars to wage, and cost lives.
As the country prepares to take on a new mission in Afghanistan, many Canadians are asking themselves what happened and what went wrong in Kandahar. The Savage War tackles those questions head on, taking the reader beyond the political spin and past the talking heads. The war's principal figures are captured in dozens of candid, off-camera moments. Stories of ordinary soldiers, the grit they exhibited, the sweat and blood they sacrificed, are told alongside the stories of Afghans,whose lives were torn asunder.
Brewster goes far beyond "Look at me, I covered a war!" books written by Canadian journalists and gives an intelligent analysis of how Canadians ended up in a mess like Kandahar... Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2012 by Mark Bourrie
This is an important and well researched book. I was able to get a sense of what was going on in Ottawa during key points of the war, got an inside look at what soldiers and... Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2012 by oor
I just had a read through this mess, and I am very disappointed. I served in Afghanistan in 2006, and many details in this book are incorrect. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2011 by Leo
I recommend this book to everyone. It was an eye openener on the actual facts that the government did not want you to know. The author does not hide anything. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2011 by Lynn B
Much more than a partially obstructed view of Canada's role in Afghanistan, Brewster provides first hand accounts of travel outside the walls of Khandahar Airfield as more than an... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2011 by C. Csetri
The World War of 1939-1945 has been called "The Good War" and the Korean War has been called "The Forgotten War;" the Canadian mission to southern Afghanistan, if one interprets... Read morePublished on Dec 17 2011 by T. Fowler
A superbly written account of the Canadian-Afghan experience. Anyone looking for just soldier stories should maybe look someplace else, but if you want to why things didn't go as... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2011 by Daniel