In 1986 John McLeod published Myth and Reality : The New Zealand Soldier in World War II. It was controversial but widely praised; one reviewer said it was one of the most important New Zealand books ever.
One criticism that challenged John was that to fully understand war you have to actually face fire. In 1998 he served as a United Nations Military Observer, monitoring the fraught Angolan peace process. Achieving peace in that war-wracked country proved elusive, and the violence and bloodshed he experienced affected him deeply.
It has taken a long time for John to be able to tell his story, which graphically reveals the disturbing realities of modern peacekeeping — and its far-reaching impact on those at the front line.