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Unembedded Hardcover – Feb 2 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & Mcintyre; First Edition edition (Feb. 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553652924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553652922
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 15.3 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #344,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unembedded - Scott Taylor May 19 2010
By T. Khaner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Scott Taylor provides a gripping first hand account of many of his adventures in the worlds trouble spots over the last twenty-odd years. Told in the style of war stories one might hear in the soldiers mess Taylor's up close and personal experiences provide a stark contradiction to much accepted wisdom offered by mainstream media and official public relations opinion. But he does not let that iconoclastic point of view hijack the narrative.

I wish Taylor hadn't followed at least some of his editor's advice - I prefer unabridged stories when told so well, especially concerning events still echoing in the global situation. I don't want to wait twenty years to hear the rest of the stories omitted from this first installment of memoirs.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The price of integrity Dec 31 2009
By Ciprian E. Ivanof - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scott Taylor is a fascinating and extremely valuable journalist of war and the harsher side of human suffering. Trained as both an artist and a commando, he served in the Canadian Army and then sought to understand the world while making a living putting forth a magazine aimed at the military audience. His sense of principle has made him an enemy of high-level corruption (hence a campaign of intimidation against his magazine) and willing to see the other side. What makes him clearly a cut above the rest is that he was captured at multiple points in his career and was tortured in Iraq by terrorists. He was (and still is) willing to risk his life to convey the truth.

What is notable in his reporting is that it is done by one who understands the nature of war, the failings of bureaucracy, and has the empathy (not the same as sympathy--empathy being simply understanding other people's feelings) and intelligence to figure out individual motives while remaining wonderfully cynical. He has traveled the world from Canada to various aspects of military life (the comforts of Germany to the joys of a dip from the HMCS Ottawa) while a journalist. The intricacies of running a magazine (initially an in flight magazine for the Canadian Air Force) while under attack by the largest subscriber are of fascinating interest to soldier, businessman, and PR specialist.

Given the nature of the author's profession, this is not a happy book. One might even become slightly inclined to depression in reading it. In his more recent times he ranges from the massive human suffering inflicted by the use of Depleted Uranium Munitions in Iraq and the imprecise nature of sanctions, to the various bloodletting in the former Yugoslavia. What is very clear is that nobody (least of all the US and Canadian governments) is honest about their intentions and frequently their actions suffer from the mutual incomprehension that results.

If anything is sure to stick in one's mind, it will likely be the latter parts covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is from his own practice that the title comes. He spurns being embedded due to the frequent shift in perspective that results in and the bureaucratic meddling that hampers the expression of truth on the ground. From the policies and refusal to admit mistakes on the part of US officials to the machinations of Afghan warlords, what becomes apparent all the more is that Machiavelli was an idealist. The chaos and suffering of those countries is clear and the problems revealed by Scott Taylor's reporting are going to be essential in any solution or study of the brutal aftermath.

The world owes a great dept to such brave men who actually seek out the truth with professionalism and integrity. They transform the term "journalist" from a word mixed with scorn at their ignorance to one of quiet respect. While this book is no scientific study or detailed journalistic account, it is not meant to be. It is actually an autobiography relating his experiences as an independent military journalist with large parts of his experiences left out in Azerbaijan and his already having written about Serbia and Macedonia. He covers his entry into Yugoslavia in depth as well as some of his forays into Iraq and Afghanistan in his characteristic detail. While some may pass it by on account of having little in terms of the larger picture, such large scale studies frequently lose something in terms of understanding how ordinary life and operations work. This is that element.