David Loyn has been a foreign correspondent for 30 years, mostly with the BBC. Among other prizes he is one of only two journalists to have won both of Britain’s leading awards in television and radio news – Sony Radio Reporter of the Year and Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year. His first book, Frontline, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2006.His reporting highlights include the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in East Germany, Hungary and Romania. After reporting on India since the assassination of Indira Gandhi and riots in India in 1984, he later returned to succeed Mark Tully as the BBC Correspondent in Delhi.He has spent long periods travelling with guerrilla forces including separatists in Kashmir and Sri Lanka, Maoists in India and Nepal, and the Taliban in Afghanistan since their origins in the mid-90s. He was the only foreign correspondent with the Taliban when they took Kabul in 1996, and returned to spend time behind enemy lines reporting with the Taliban in Helmand in October 2006. He had several assignments in Iraq, including a two-month embed with US Marines during the invasion in 2003, and had several embeds with British forces, including the deployment of the Black Watch to Camp Dogwood in October 2004.
ANNABEL MERULLO Assistant's name: Laura McNeill E-mail: email@example.com Telephone number: 020 7344 1033
Rory Peck, Peter Jouvenal, Vaughan Smith, and Nicholas Della Casa were the founder members of an exclusive and dangerous club: the Frontline TV News Agency. Between them, this colourful collection of adventurers and ex-army officers captured some of the key images at the end of the Cold War, and the fractured, fissile world which emerged. Two of them are now dead: killed in action. The way they lived and died was an anachronism; they were eccentrics who might have been happier fighting wars in the British Empire a century before. Instead, they brought back pictures from the worst war zones the late twentieth century had to offer. And it suited them. For the men of Frontline, how things were done was as important as what was done. All four of the founders, and those they recruited, shared the same panache, wit, and disdain for authority, planning the next trip to the Hindu Kush in the bar of the Ritz. Their story reads like a latter-day Rudyard Kipling adventure. But while their lives may have been lived as if they were still playing the Great Game, they also cared passionately about their work and the truth it conveyed. Part Bang Bang Club, part Flashman, Frontline is the gripping story of lives lived to the full in some of the worst places on earth.
PUBLISHER: Michael Joseph
PUBLICATION DATE: 25 Aug 2005
BUTCHER AND BOLT — Buy it here.
Afghanistan has been a strategic prize for foreign empires for more than 200 years. The British, Russians and Americans have all fought across its beautiful and inhospitable terrain, in conflicts variously ruthless, misguided and bloody. A century ago, the common sneer about how British soldiers treated Afghan tribesmen was that they would ‘butcher’ them, then ‘bolt’. This violent history is the subject of David Loyn’s magisterial book. He begins with the first British mission exactly 200 years ago – the bizarre, almost medieval progress of Mountstuart Elphinstone, who probed west beyond the known boundaries of British India to find the Amir of Afghanistan clad in an emerald breastplate, wearing the Koh-i-Noor diamond. That encounter ushered in a history of conflict littered with misunderstandings and broken promises, in which the British, the Russians and later the Americans, constantly under-estimated the ability of the Afghans and the power of the Frontier tribes. Butcher and Bolt brilliantly brings to life the personalities involved in Afghanistan’s relationship with the world, chronicling the misunderstandings and missed opportunities that have so often led to war. Coming right up to date, it draws on David Loyn’s unrivalled knoweldge of the Taliban today and the forces that currently prevail in Afghanistan, to provide the definitive analysis of the lessons these conflicts have for the present day.
PUBLICATION DATE: 3 Sep 2009