Annoucement from William Heinemann, June 2015  

William Heinemann today announced the acquisition of The Changing of the Guard by Simon Akam. Editorial Director Tom Avery bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) at auction from Patrick Walsh at Conville & Walsh. 

The Changing of the Guard is an explosive, intimate, authoritative account of the British army and of its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, based on exclusive interviews, rigorous research and on-the-ground reporting. Moving from early 2003 when troops resprayed their Challenger tanks desert-yellow in preparation for the invasion of Iraq to the final departure from Camp Bastion in late 2014, and from the murder of Lee Rigby to the advent of the YouTube war film, it will explore how the modern military works, where it’s gone wrong, and what that means for British society. 

‘This is a book which needs to be written and needs to be read... a vital contribution towards our understanding of the reasons for and the implications of profound change in this most important of national institutions.’  

Patrick Hennessey, author of The Junior Officers’ Reading Club 

About Simon Akam: Born in Cambridge, Simon Akam held a Gap Year Commission in the British Army before reading English Literature at Oxford University. He later won a Fulbright scholarship to study at Columbia Journalism School in New York. After graduation Simon worked at The New York Times and subsequently spent several years in West Africa as a correspondent for Reuters and the Economist. His writing and journalism have appeared in The New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Independent, the New Statesman and Newsweek, among other publications. 

Tom Avery says: ‘After fourteen years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a century of near-unbroken warfare, Simon Akam’s unflinching, insightful and eloquent examination of the armed forces in Britain is a book that is long overdue. We are delighted to be publishing The Changing of the Guard: a revelatory first work of non-fiction from a writer and journalist following in the footsteps of Orwell, Hemingway and Herr.’ 

Patrick Walsh says: ‘For me Simon Akam is all about the writing – he’s a fantastically strong and muscular new voice. Like Michael Lewis, he could write well about anything.’ 

The Changing of the Guard will be published by William Heinemann in 2017 and in paperback by Windmill Books in 2018 

For further information please contact: Emma Finnigan, Publicity Director, William Heinemann on (020) 7840 8773 /