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In a fly-blown bar in West Africa, war reporter James Brabazon found himself discussing military plans to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea with one of Africaâ€™s most notorious mercenaries - his friend Nick du Toit. The Byzantine plot, its farcical execution and its tragic consequences led to Simon Mann and a host of celebrated guns-for-hire falling victim to their own avaricious plans, Machiavellian scheming and perverse double-crosses. In a twist of fate, James Brabazon remained free. His mercenary friend wasnâ€™t as lucky. Nick du Toit was supposed to serve thirty-four years in Black Beach Prison, Africa's most notorious jail - a sentence which James could have been serving alongside him. Their unlikely friendship began two years earlier on the bloody battlefields of the Liberian civil war. With Nick as his bodyguard, James was the only journalist to film behind rebel lines. Establishing him as a brave and talented filmmaker, the war tested Jamesâ€™s physical and moral boundaries to the limit â€“ and opened a door onto a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies and violent regime change.My Friend The Mercenary recounts James's courageous journey into the Liberian war, and tell the inside story of the most infamous coup attempt in recent history. Through this gripping narrative, James Brabazon explodes the myth of the modern mercenary; and paints a moving portrait of an extraordinary friendship. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor and friend in the morally corrosive crucible of war.
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James Brabazon is a frontline journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in London, he has travelled in over sixty countries - investigating, photographing, filming and directing in the world's most hostile environments. His awards include the Rory Peck Trust Sony International Impact Award 2003, the Rory Peck Trust Freelancer's Choice Award 2003, the IDA Courage Under Fire Award 2004 and the IDFA Joris Ivens Competition Special Jury Award 2004. He has also been nominated for two BAFTAs and two Emmys. He has made thirty international current affairs films broadcast by the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, SABC and the Discovery Channel. He lecturers on the ethics and practicalities of journalism in war zones and has written for the Observer, the Independent and the Guardian.Review:
Among the most exciting true stories of adventure and misadventure I’ve ever read about modern Africa; a beautifully written adrenaline rush by one of our generation’s bravest journalists.” Aidan Hartley, author of The Zanzibar Chest
An outstanding memoir about the power of friendship in the morally complex theater of war. James Brabazon is a fearless reporter and a brutally honest narrator. I couldn’t put this book down.” Andy McNab, author of Bravo Two Zero
One of the most brutal, true stories you may ever read and yet streaming through it is a remarkable and unlikely friendship.” Peter Hallett, Utterance
Intensely vivid story of war and the peculiar breed of warriors who fight in 21st-century Africa. . . A haunting memoir and tribute to an extraordinary comrade-at-arms.” Kirkus Reviews
Reads like a political thriller. Brabazon’s searing narrative captures both the allure of war the rush of danger, the deep camaraderie, the get-rich-quick mirages and its brutal realities. It’s both a seductive paean to and a harsh exposé of the mercenary ethos that fattens off of Africa’s travails.” Publishers Weekly
Unsparing prose, a visceral shock ride into horror. This book reveals the savagery of Africa’s least known wars, fed and exploited by opportunists and plunderers who are drawn to these ravaged countries like vultures to a carcass.”
Jonathan Kaplan, author of The Dressing Station
The first two thirds of Brabazon’s extraordinary confessional, My Friend the Mercenary, is the story of how the professional partnership of a young, liberal British filmmaker and a hit man for apartheid South Africa developed into intimate comradeship. It was a strange and dangerous liaison, and it found itself in the heart of darkness. . . . The concluding chapters of his book present as full and convincing an account of that failed assault on Equatorial Guinea as we are likely to read.” The Scotsman (UK)
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Book Description Grove Press, New York, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. First U.S. Edition. A NEW Hardcover in like dust jacket. NO marks or underlining. This item is IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE. Seller Inventory # 018211
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