News & Reviews

MINI BOOK REVIEW: Flawed Hero: Truth, Lies and Warcrimes by Chris Masters

It has been called the defamation trial of the Century – Australia’s most-decorated soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith against the media.

The pictures of Roberts-Smith, square-jawed, ramrod straight, nattily attired in a dark suit, white shirt and tee, walking into the court house were ubiquitous, on front-pages, evening newscasts, blogs and social media.

In Flawed Hero, Masters takes us from the battlefields in Afghanistan – where the Victoria Cross winner kicked an unarmed Afghan off a cliff then shot him; machined-gunned a man with a prosthetic leg, took the leg back to a pub encouraging soldiers to drink beer from it; and ordered a young, newly-deployed soldier to execute an elderly Afghan, a routine known as ‘blooding the rookie’ – to the court room in Sydney.

For 112 days, these allegations were tested, and found to be true.

Masters was there as combat-hardened soldiers, young men who had survived homemade road-side bombs, ambushes, suicide bombers, faced withering attacks by silks who fired questions at them.

Riveting, captivating, a vital read for all Australians. As Masters writes, the case ‘tested truth, character and the nation’s courage.’ It is the ‘principal public reckoning on war crimes.’

-Raymond Bonner


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