Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan [Hardcover]

Murray Brewster
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Jan. 25 2011
On the tenth anniversary of Canada's involvement, a leading journalist offers a fascinating assessment of Canada's past and present role in the Afghan war

Of the 33,000 troops under NATO command in Afghanistan in October 2006, 12,000 were Americans and 2,500 were Canadians. Deployed to southern Afghanistan, the Canadian forces were charged with ending the violent insurgency in Kandahar Province. The Savage War offers a compelling look at how the war has been conducted by Canada and its allies on the ground and at the highest echelons. With unprecedented access to classified documents and the exceptional storytelling skills that have made him an award-winning reporter, Murray Brewster offers a powerful new perspective on the war.

Told in the first person by a journalist who's spent more time in the trenches than any of his peers, The Savage War provides a candid look at the war's principal figures captured in off-camera moments and the daily, gritty reality of ordinary soldiers and Afghans. And as Canada prepares to take on a new mission in Afghanistan, this is the first comprehensive account of the five most significant years of the war and the key moments in it that shaped history.

  • Murray Brewster provides tough-minded analysis and a critique of bureaucracy as well as revelations about corruption—sure to incite commentary and stir controversy
  • Includes eyewitness accounts, exclusive interviews, and access to classified documents
  • An unflinching, unvarnished analysis of Canada's role in the war, told in first-person by a journalist who has sat in trenches with soldiers, and also in the living room of 24 Sussex Drive with the prime minister

Taking readers beyond punditry and political spin, The Savage War is the first comprehensive account of the key moments in the Afghan war that have shaped history. Many have asked what went wrong. The Savage War tackles this question head on.


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Canadian combat troops have returned from Afghan-istan. Ten years, 157 dead, many more seriously wounded. Canadians are asking if the sacrifice was worth it. What did our efforts actually accomplish? Is the future of the Afghan people any more secure or hopeful? For most, the war in Afghanistan remains one of the most remote, misunderstood and mysterious events of their lifetime.

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.

From the Back Cover

The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan is a detailed, inside account of the conflict that has shackled nations. It is an unflinching, unvarnished analysis of Canada's role in the war, told in the first-person by someone—award-winning defence correspondent Murray Brewster— who not only sat in the trenches with soldiers, but also in the living room of 24 Sussex Drive with the prime minister. It is the first comprehensive account of the five most significant years of the war and the key moments which shaped history.

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.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Savage Read Dec 18 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is not a military history of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. While you will read about some of the things that Canadian soldiers did at the operational and tactical level, if you are looking for a campaign history of Op ARCHER/ATHENA you will be disappointed. If, however, you want to know why they were there and why they ultimately left then this is the only book on the topic worth reading.

Mr. Brewster's multiple trips to Afghanistan as an embedded and unembedded reporter combine with his significant experience in the Canadian capital to produce an in-depth look at the strategic impetus behind the mission. The Savage War has a unique roller-coaster feel to it as Mr. Brewster will on one page be discussing the highest-level cabinet discussions and then be detailing his own absurd adventures in Kanadhar City as he looks to see if the rationale matches the reality. To be certain, there are moments where Mr. Brewster's opinions are on display, but he never suggests that they are anything but opinions and -more importantly- they are informed opinions.

It is far too early for a definitive account of the miliary mission at the operational level to be written as there is still too much emotion invested in the experience. The few books that have so far tried to describe the larger mission (with the exception of Christie Blatchford's work which focuses on individuals and Mark Gasparotto's book which is devoid of sophistry) are wishful tribute pieces at best. Mr. Brewster's book is probably the first one to attempt to cross the threshold into the sort of dispassionate analysis required to truly understand the past and as such it is, and will likely remain, an important book on the Canadian mission to Afghanintan.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Oct. 21 2011
By Steve
Format:Hardcover
Brewster's book centres on the Canadian effort in Afghanistan since 2005, but he paints a vivid picture of Afghanistan and its people that make it a compelling read to anyone interested in the region. It also provides a blow by blow no holds barred account of the government and military decision making process and show the extent Canada was unprepared to jump into the boiling cauldron it ended up in. It's the kind of book you'll read more than once.
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars An amateur effort badly in need of an editor Feb. 13 2014
By NickCW
Format:Hardcover
The first thing that struck me about Murray Brewster's "The Savage War" is how much it attempts to sound like Michael Herr's "Dispatches" (Random House, 1968), probably the best reporter's-eye view of troops in war since WW II. Herr was a freelance reporter in Vietnam, and his elegant and deeply moving use of the second person takes you right into the scenes and conversations he is recounting.

In The Savage War, Brewster doesn't just emulate Dispatches, he paraphrases entire passages from it and freely borrows Herr's images--such as describing a group of exhausted troops after action looking like "stroke victims." I don't know if such borrowing can be called plagiarism, but it must be at least very close to it. Whatever it is in legal terms, it put me off from the start. Writing in the second person requires skill and sensibility that Brewster seems to lack: in one of many examples, "As you went into April" sounds strange and inappropriate.

Technically, the book is very poorly written and cries out for a capable editor. We learn that Brewster "poured over a set of documents." A number of sentences are simply missing words and are therefore incomplete. His imagery and metaphors are quirky to say the least (he heard "a muffle of explosions" and looked out over the "eviscerated" Arghandab River). Both he and everyone else he mentions was "stopped in his tracks" numerous times--as if a dramatic phrase would somehow keep its power through endless repetition.

Brewster's personal impressions of Afghanistan are informative and interesting, to a point; however, they convey little more than every other account I have read, and usually a great deal less.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A reporters view Dec 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is good to hear a reporters view on the war and there experiences. It is part of my study of the war in Afghanistan.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars The Savage War June 30 2012
By Hostile
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Afghanistan is brought into a new view through
Murrays excellact journalism, how he caputers the real moments are fellow troops go through each patrol. Awesome look into the afghan war.
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seductivly written insider look at Hell on Earth Oct. 20 2011
By Louise
Format:Hardcover
What a great faced paced read. What makes this book so fantastic is the new way the author connects experiences, characters and politics to let the reader into the life of a journalist. This heart wrenching story of peoples lives in that God foresaken land is amazing. How isolating and scary to be a journalist in Afghanistan... looking evil in the eye all the time...its sometimes heart wrenching following the stories of peoples lives under the watchful gaze of a suspecious military. The Savage War: The Untold Battles of Afghanistan
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read Feb. 27 2012
By Leeze
Format:Hardcover
This book is fantastic. Beautifully written with vidid descriptions that transport you to Afghanistan.
An in depth and heartbreaking look into both a region of the earth and a war that seem frozen in time.
The author finds humour in an impossible conflict and writes with respect for the soldiers and Afghans.
You won't forget this book.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sets the standard for books on Afghanistan
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 more
Published on Feb. 7 2012 by Mark Bourrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative
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 more
Published on Jan. 17 2012 by oor
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful and Inaccurate
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 more
Published on Dec 22 2011 by Leo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Savage War
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 more
Published on Dec 19 2011 by Lynn B
5.0 out of 5 stars Descriptive, honest and difficult to put down.
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 more
Published on Dec 18 2011 by C. Csetri
4.0 out of 5 stars The Unwinnable War: One Reporter's Viewpoint
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 more
Published on Dec 17 2011 by T. Fowler
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Overview
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 more
Published on Dec 11 2011 by Daniel
1.0 out of 5 stars just the facts please
I have to admit, I couldn't even finish this book. I was hoping the book would be more about the soldiers fighting the war and what they went through. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2011 by wes
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback