His outstanding leadership of the Peacekeeping Force in East Timor saw General Peter Cosgrove become the face of the Australian Digger … and our best-known and best-loved General since World War II.

Cos was born to wear khaki.  He followed his father and grandfather into the army and, as a gung-ho 22-year-old, he won the Military Cross for bravery under fire in Vietnam.  It was the start of a fascinating odyssey from cocky lieutenant to revered commander-in-chief. 

Patrick looks at the real Cos through the eyes of those whose lives he touched and explores his journey to the top and his time as the Chief of Australia’s Defence Forces in one the most turbulent periods in our history.

Recent praise

Ripping yarn. Cosgrove is an easy read that tells the story of the man behind the legend.
It’s the biography that had to happen: we just had to wait a bit for it. Former print and television journalist Patrick Lindsay has added what will undoubtedly be another best-seller to his list of books with the release of Cosgrove, the story of how one man rose from the ranks of the ordinary to be an extraordinary leader and commander.

The book details the usual family history interwoven with details of Cosgrove’s life and deeds. The author regularly breaks from his own narrative to include direct quotes from Cosgrove and people who have worked with him.
Nothing is hidden in this book, with the hazings at RMC in the 1960s and the difficulties of maintaining a career in the ADF all laid bare for the public to read.
Key points in Cosgrove’s career, such as his time in Vietnam, Timor Leste and as CDF are well covered and provide an excellent insight into his ethics and personal philosophy. Of key interest to ADF members are Cosgrove’s lessons learnt which are liberally scattered throughout the book.
These insights give the reader a vivid understanding of the man and provide many motivational and leadership tips that are well worth emulating.
Defence personnel may find the book simple in style but the use of many basic and explanatory military expressions makes the book accessible to the greater public. The book is an easy read and will undoubtedly find its way on to the bookshelves of thousands of current, future and ex-ADF members.
While the price of the book may seem a bit high, the book itself sets a high standard for Australian biographies. An inspiring read.
— Lt Cameron Jamieson, The Army Newspaper, August 10 2006