Peter Beaumont, Foreign Affairs Editor of The Observer, has covered a wide range of conflicts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East since joining the paper in 1989. The Secret Life of War is his attempt to distil this experience of war, focusing on the human impact on combatants, civilians and the journalists who observe them.
Well, it’s an undeniably laudable intention and Beaumont makes a good stab at it. My first impression was that the book was relentlessly solipsistic. This was unfair. Actually, the focus on himself and his own reactions to the situations in which he has found himself over the years