top of page

The first casualty

The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Kosovo

Phillip Knightley

This is the 2000 edition, updated from the classic 1975 version to include chapters on the Falklands, the first Gulf War and the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Copies are available for $32.95 plus $5.00 postage and handling. For Evatt Foundation members only, copies are available for a special discount price of $29.95 plus $5.00 postage and handling. To order your copy, click on the following to go to our publications order page.

About The First Casualty

"The first casualty when war comes, is truth," said American Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917, and in his gripping, now-classic history of war journalism, Phillip Knightley shows just how right Johnson was. From William Howard Russell, who described the appalling conditions of the Crimean War in the Times [London], to the ranks of reporters, photographers, and cameramen who captured the realities of war in Vietnam, The First Casualty tells a fascinating story of heroism and collusion, censorship and suppression, myth-making and propaganda. Since Vietnam, Knightley finds, governments have become much more adept at managing the media, and in new chapters on the Falklands, the Gulf War, and the former Yugoslavia, he concludes that the war correspondent's role as a seeker of truth is now in jeopardy.

"Disturbing, even dismaying, yet also in its painful way, enormously entertaining."

- New Yorker

"[This book] may make us all a little more free to talk about and find the truth."

- Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review

"In war, truth may be the first casualty, but in Phillip Knightley's compelling examination of the war correspondent as journalist-mouthpiece-propagandist, the truth survives unscathed. Myths are exploded, scoundrels unmasked, the best and worst of the history of a century plainly revealed."

- Morley Safer

"Few books have deserved an updated edition more than Phillip Knightley's history of war reporting since the 1850s . . . Invaluable for anyone with an interest in the media, it is equally recommended as a modern history of government lies."

- Times Literary Supplement

Winner of the 1976 Overseas Press Club of America Award for the Best Book on Foreign Affairs

About Phillip Knightley

Phillip Knightley was born in Australia and headed for Fleet Street in the early 1950s. The author of ten books and one of the world's most distinguished investigative journalists, he was a special correspondent for the Sunday Times for twenty years and a leader of its celebrated Insight team of investigative reporters. A multi-award winning journalist and writer, and the author of the classic work The First Casualty: A History of War, Correspondents and Propaganda (revised edition, Prion 2000), he uncovered the Kim Philby spy scandal and played a central role in exposing both the 1963 Profumo sex scandal and the thalidomide birth defects. He is one of only two journalists to have been twice named journalist of the year in the British Press Awards. Among his other awards are Granada Reporter of the Year (1982), the Chef and Brewer Crime Writers' Award (1983), and the Overseas Press Club of America Award for the best book on foreign affairs (1975, for The First Casualty). Phillip Knightley's latest book is Australia: A Biography of a Nation (Random House 2000), and he currently serves as the European representative on the advisory committee of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


bottom of page