What Readers Have Said About Blowback

A Canadian History of Agent Orange and the War at Home

By Chris Arsenault  

“Arsenault’s extensive research involved using the Access to Information Act to ferret out damning documents and produce a scathing indictment of a Canadian government in denial of its responsibility for exposing its citizens to a deadly substance.” - Jeffrey Simpson, Halifax Chronicle Herald, April 19, 2009

“Heavily researched, it is a biography of either gross mismanagement or pure self interest and disregard for public safety…. Objectivity is important to any journalist but Arsenault sits firmly with the alleged victims of the defoliation program… the evidence presented in this book is damning to the military industrial complex.”-David Turner, Fredericton Daily Gleaner, July 11, 2009

“Freelance journalist Chris Arsenault has uncovered a disturbing Canadian connection that paints a portrait of human and environmental devastation much closer to home than the jungles of Southeast Asia. This deceptively thin volume is a thoroughly documented case history…Arsenault weaves together the many strands of a shocking tale of criminal negligence that heretofore has been featured only in isolated news reports…. Arsenault’s text serves as a cautionary tale about the profound costs of current and future Canadian military entanglements.” - Matthew Behrens, Quill & Quire, May 2009

“Arsenault has compiled a history of Agent Orange in Canada that includes both insight and humour… Blowback is compelling reading for every Canadian who wants to know more about the wizard behind the curtain.” - Megan Stewart, The Dominion, May 7, 2009

Arsenault writes these victims’ stories with a vivid pen and wry asides…a dense dossier of facts and true heart break.” - The Nova Scotia Policy Review “a marvelously revealing work of independent, investigative journalism… a virtual catalogue of the mistakes and missteps by governments in thrall to the false promise of inorganic chemistry, and blind, deaf and dumb to the effects of these operations on local populations… a convincing example of objective reporting and writing on a profoundly important subject” - Alec Bruce, Atlantic Books Today

“This is the best expose on Agent Orange that I have ever read. It is imperative that veterans and civilians read it.”-George Claxton, former chair of Vietnam Veterans of America (VAVA) Dioxin Committee published in the VAVA Veteran

“Blowback” has only been a part of the modern lexicon since Chalmers Johnson used it to describe the unintended consequences of covert action in a 2001 book of the same name. Arsenault endows it with a double meaning-the drift of sprayed chemicals onto cropland and towns and the political repercussions of Canada covering up these spraying activities…the story jumps around, albeit skillfully, between anecdotes, historical evidence, and, most interestingly, root causes.” - Mathew Berger, Inter Press Service, Australia

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