Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Scapegoats of the Empire: The True Story of Breaker Morant's Bushveldt Carbineers” as Want to Read:
Scapegoats of the Empire: The True Story of Breaker Morant's Bushveldt Carbineers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Scapegoats of the Empire: The True Story of Breaker Morant's Bushveldt Carbineers

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
High quality reprint of Witton's scathing political indictment of the British Empire, originally published in 1907. The story was made into a movie in 1980, "Breaker Morant," starring Edward Woodward, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, and Jack Thompson. 240 pp. printed on cream acid-free paper. Illustrated with half-tone photographs. First Clock & Rose trade edition in paperback, ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Clock & Rose Press (first published 1907)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Scapegoats of the Empire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Scapegoats of the Empire

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Martin Hill
Apr 25, 2015 Martin Hill rated it really liked it
Scapegoats of the Empire is the true story of the murder trial of three Australian army officers during Britain’s Boer War, a court martial made famous to modern movie goers by the film Breaker Morant. Its author, George Witton, was one of those officers and the only one to avoid a firing squad.

Witton was a young enlisted artilleryman in the Australian Army when he volunteered for active service in the southern African war. There are many similarities between the Boer War at the turn of the 20th
May 20, 2012 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of them, a big powerful Dutchman, made a rush at me and seized the end of my rifle, with the intention of taking it and shooting me, but I simplified matters by pulling the trigger and shooting him. I never had any qualms of conscience for having done so, as he was recognized by Ledeboer, the intelligence agent, as a most notorious scoundrel who had previously threatened to shoot him, and was the head of a band of marauders. By just escaping death in this tragedy I was afterwards sentenced t ...more
Feb 20, 2010 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: antipodes, 2010
Despite its flat narrative style, this book is a compelling read. I noted its title in the credits of the film "Breaker Morant." Suppressed in the interest of imperial relations by the Australian government after its initial publication in 1907, whether by "accident" or intent, Witton's story was still known to the 100's of thousands of Australians who petitioned Parliament and the King for his release from a British prison following the execution of his fellow officers in the Bushveldt ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Fred rated it really liked it
This is a fairly short read and it definitely helps to understand the situation if you watch Breaker Morant first. What surprised me the most was how the movie, while taking certain liberties, does a fine job of capturing what is in the book (although the movie does not go into any detail of Mr. Winton's time in prison after the trial). Because of the time the book was written, some readers may be offended by the language Mr. Winton uses. But overall, it is a unique glimpse into a moment in ...more
Earlier this month a royal pardon on behalf of Breaker Morant was refused.

This edition of the book came out in 1907 and was immediately mostly destroyed by the government. So were the next edition or two printed that year. In all probably only a few copies of this book exist*. In Australia in 2008 a copy of the first edition sold for approximately $5000.

You can read the book online at Gutenberg. Even better see the movie!

*There are facsimiles.
Nov 17, 2016 Johnny rated it it was amazing
a nice quick read about a travesty of justice and how malleable the rules of war can be.
Ed Eleazer
Dec 25, 2012 Ed Eleazer rated it really liked it
This book is somewhat dry, but that is one of its strengths. Witton, who had every right to feel abused by the system, presents a clear and precise description of the courts martial of Morant, Handcock, and himself, one which adheres quite well to the writer's dictum "show,don't tell." By describing the scene as it existed in South Africa at that time, and all the cultural artifacts visible in the media, Witton shows us just how illogical it was to find the three guilty of "war crimes." The ...more
Stefan Le
Although it is easy to simpethise with witten and his friends and blame the army, it should not be forgotten that they were guilty. England did use them as scapegoats for her dirty cause, that is true, but this does not justify their deeds. The punishment was correct, although the motivation was crooked. Although the blame game is played here, juctise was a crooked way. Witten and the likes is no hero in my book. They plainlynreceived what they had dealt to others, unfair treatment, ...more
Alex Milledge
Jan 25, 2014 Alex Milledge rated it really liked it
I found the movie to portray Morant more red-blooded than Witton's account. In Witton's narrative, Morant often worried and said "Do you think they'll shoot us?" which sounded more like a question that Witton would ask to Morant as the movie portrayed Witton to be a worrier whereas Morant to be more fatherly and a figure of consolation and poetic vanity.

The book was very vivid in its scenery, from being in Australia to being on the veldt and an English prison. A very rich and intriguing read.
Kevin K. Gillette
Aug 05, 2015 Kevin K. Gillette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The film "Breaker Morant," which is based on this book, is one of my all-time favorites, so I had to get a copy and see for myself how the sole survivor of the "kangaroo court" reported on the events. The presentation is somewhat stodgy, and understandably it is centered far more on Witton's own experience than that of Harry Morant and Lieutenant Handcock. However, that said, it makes a fascinating read, and one I highly recommend for any student of British colonialism and the Boer War.
Oct 10, 2013 Kerry rated it really liked it
Excellent first hand account of the Breaker Morant story from one of the participants. Have since read everything I can about this event in our history.
May 20, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had the potential to be really interesting, but was really dry. Enjoyed it because I watched the movie "Breaker Morant."
Ira Davis
Ira Davis rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2015
Sanaya rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2012
Valerie Adam
Valerie Adam rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2014
James Sorrell
James Sorrell rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2016
Jenni Linck
Jenni Linck rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2014
John B.
John B. rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2016
Pat Hughes
Pat Hughes rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2009
Mickey Fisher
Mickey Fisher rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2015
Nate rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2016
Moses rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2015
Toby Brain
Toby Brain rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2014
Brendan Transit
Brendan Transit rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2016
Dave rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2016
John E.
John E. rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2014
Walter rated it really liked it
Jul 17, 2012
Grandpa rated it really liked it
May 20, 2012
P. Carpenter
P. Carpenter rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2014
Robert rated it really liked it
May 20, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book