"Churchill's first major historical work is still considered one of his most riveting." — Library Journal "It's a great read." — The Washington Examiner A story of heroism and glory that rivals any work of fiction, this instructive treatise on a Middle Eastern conflict was written by one of history's greatest figures. In The River War, Winston Churchill recounts a critical but often overlooked episode from the days when the British Empire was at the height of its power: the operations directed by Lord Kitchener of Khartoum on the Upper Nile from 1896 to 1899, which led to England's reconquest of the Egyptian Sudan. After the 1881 rebellion of the Mahdi had plunged the Sudan into chaos, British attempts to withdraw from the region climaxed in General Gordon's ill-fated attempt to rescue officials, soldiers, and Egyptian subjects from Khartoum. A decade later, the British government began its efforts in the pacification and restoration of the Sudan--a mission that succeeded within two years, at the final battle of Omdurman. Churchill was present at this decisive battle, and he wrote this book while he was still a young cavalry officer. In addition to the future statesman's views of the conflicts and the politics behind them, it shows how the River War altered the fates of England, Egypt, and the Arabian people of northeast Africa. Illustrated by 22 maps and plans, this treatise offers valuable insights into a historic clash of Western and Arabic cultures.