Michael Petrou


Michael Petrou, a senior writer at Maclean’s, has covered wars and conflicts across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. He has been  nominated for three National Magazine Awards, winning a silver citation in 2009 for reportage from Haiti.

His first book, Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, was shortlisted for the 2009 Ottawa Book Award. The Spanish newspaper El Pais described the book as “beautiful.” Canadian historian Jack Granatstein said it is “the best and most complete account of Canadians in the Spanish Civil War we are ever likely to get.”

Petrou holds a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford. He lives in Ottawa.

Non Fiction

Is This Your First War?
Post-9/11 impacts in the greater Middle East are detailed by one of Canada’s premier foreign correspondents.
(Dundurn, 2012)Ottawa Book Award 2013, Non-fiction

“a harrowing journey into the heart of darkness of post-9/11 Afghanistan. In this journalistic coming-of-age story, Ottawa writer Michael Petrou has risen magnificently to the occasion.  Head, heart and spirit blend powerfully in a chronicle of a stranger in an alien land seething with ancient and modern loyalties and hatreds. Petrou’s prose shimmers with small, telling moments lined with significance.”
– Ottawa Book Award, jury citation

“A gritty, up close and personal chronicle of the great freedom struggle of our time.”
– Terry Glavin, author of Come from the Shadows:
The Long and Lonely Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan

Agent: Samantha Haywood