Fighting Blind 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 26, 2014

 

Author  Shane Horsburgh with Jason K Foster

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 978-1-74237-879-4
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.allenandunwin.com 

This is a book for blokes by a bloke who somewhere along the track realised that while it’s OK to be a bloke, somewhere else in life there has got to be more.

This is a book about blokes that all women, married or who were once married to a bloke, should read, which may help them understand the “ego” power felt by men living, working and socialising in an all-male environment.

Shane Horsburgh is such a bloke: raised in a small country town, pretty good sportsman, all round popular kid and a boy who was trying to live up to his father’s ideals of what a man should be all about.

Entering the Police force at a young age he quickly passed through the ranks to make it into the elite area of NSW Tactical Operations Unit. Attempting the brutal training course for the second time Horsburgh was determined to get in and suffered the abuse that consists of toughening up men who want to work at the forefront of Policing.

Succeeding, he then moved about the Police force earning himself a reputation for more than a “Blokes Bloke”, running headlong into authority, suffering from bouts of fear and depression (all carefully hidden under the tough guy image), failing to cope with his marriage break-up followed by numerous relationship failures, he eventually found himself leaving the Police force, finding his way into the true bad lands of Iraq as a member of the US Department of Defence.

 

His job was to train local men to the position of members of the new Iraqi Police force.

In typical fashion he continued to rub up authority the wrong way, while all the while coming to terms with the true politics of the situation and the devastation war had bought to a once proud and prosperous area of the world.

Totally adrenaline fuelled his time in Iraq was spent trying to survive the intense heat, the constant threat of bomb attacks and underneath it all learning a huge respect for the Iraqi people still there trying to survive and make a life out of what was left of their society.

A deep unhappiness underlay all he was doing and in his last days of posting he spent time talking with a man known only as The Professor, a man he knew slightly. This encounter was to be the beginning of Shane Horsburgh’s return to the real world of real people, leading him on to another phase in his life journey – that of an educator.

This is a very courageous book and look at men, from a man who had to go through life doing the tough stuff only to discover that it’s OK to be a man!

Horsburgh has learned the true meaning behind the words spoken by the Professor on his last day in Iraq, “Over time you will learn to walk the fine line between a hero and a coward. That is true courage.”

A very insightful and enjoyable read from cover to cover.