I Am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing with Devilsby Lt. Col. Robert Brown USAR(Ret.), Vann Spencer
Thirty-eight years ago he launched an upstart
Robert K. Brown, former Green Beret, after a bizarre military career that succeeded in getting him kicked out of Special Forces not once but twice, and completing the Command and General Staff College without a security clearance, while meantime being wounded in Nam, finally found his true calling as a publisher.
Thirty-eight years ago he launched an upstart magazine from his basement called Soldier of Fortune, which pushed the bounds of journalism to its limits with his untamed brand of reportinga camera in one hand, a gun in the other, and soon thereafter he discovered that he’d established a worldwide community. His wildly popular, notorious magazine became an icon for action-seekers in the U.S. and around the world.
In this long-awaited book, Brown tells his own story, taking the readers into combat zones where he and his daring combat journalists, or fearless “dogs of war,” trotted across the globe. His rogue warrior journalists embedded themselves with anti-Communist guerillas or freedom fighters, often training and fighting with rebels against oppressive regimes. In their revolutionary journalistic style, they created the action and then wrote about it. Generals and leaders of exotic armies welcomed the SOF visitors and led them or allowed them to tread into unchartered territory.
Brown himself accompanied teams to work and fight with the Rhodesians; the Afghans during the Afghan-Russo war, Christian Phalange in Lebanon; ethnic minority Karens in Burma; the ethnic tribes fighting the Communist government of Laos; the army of El Salvador; and the armed forces of struggling Croatia. Brown sent medical teams, often into the jaws of danger, to Burma, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Bosnia, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and also into Peru after a devastating earthquake.
In short, the “Soldiers of Fortune” went where even the U.S. government feared to tread, and they did it with gallant style, not fearing risk but welcoming the challenge, as long as they felt the cause was right and needed to be reported. In this book the exploits of Brown and his veteran teams are revealed for the first time in all their gonzo glory, even as the U.S. military, public, and polite diplomatic society sometimes shunned their endeavors.
This is the story of Robert Brown’s dogged quest, in journalism as well as warfare, to “Slay Dragons, do noble deeds and never, never give up.”
The reader will truly wonder if all this is a Hollywood script, but Brown’s tale is reality, and no one who is awake while reading the book will be able to put it down...All in all, “I Am Soldier of Fortune” is a rollicking, true account of a real American hero. The conclusion of Brown’s incredible saga, titled “As Long as Tyrants and Liberals Exist and I Am Still Kicking,” puts a rousing finish on one of the most remarkable stories from American military history.
…gives you an insider's look at recent history. Brown lived an adventurous life, in many respects similar to some famous fictional heroes. Those tales are here, and some of the stories are humorous, after the fact, but no doubt not at the time the events happened. Humorous or not, each chapter is an interesting story, and this book is worth having for serious reading material.
Bob Brown is a "Mature Audiences Only" kind of guy, and so is this gripping book. I love his unabashed defense of our 2nd Amendment, his relentless disdain for commies and his steadfast support for our fellow Vietnam vets. I admire Bob's penchant for seeking trouble - and when he finds it - his rush to the sound of gunfire. Though I cannot vouch for all the characters and events in this great read, his account of the million dollar reward for a Soviet HIND helicopter is spot on!
LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.)
Bestselling author of Heroes Proved
"Revolutionary or armed rebel…LTC Robert K. Brown has not only seen the elephant, he fist pounded his chest and stared a herd of them down from one bloody brush war to the next for the past forty years. RKB warned us - through the hard lessons and pages of Soldier of Fortune - just how filthy and fatal firefights, ambushes, and punji sticks can be. He also stoked our hunger for patriotism, selfless service, and the all-American craving to defend the land of the free to the bitter end. "
Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden and Tier One Wild
Col. Brown's book is a breath of fresh air and reminds us that with spirit, determination, courage and ingenuity, one individual can accomplish amazing things living in the land of the free and home of the brave. Let's try to keep it that way. Read his book and be inspired.
"The book is written in Brown's flamboyant, self-effacing style, and through it all I've had a chance to reflect on his red, white and blue patriotism as one of America's most fearless journalists and, yes, a soldier for fortune who cares about God and Country."
John S. Meyer, former Green Beret and author of Across the Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam
"I Am Solider of Fortune" is a half-century of history told from ground level. The higher value, though, may be in the perspective it offers on the warrior culture. From the outside, it is easy to believe every soldier of fortune, every "private security contractor," is a Rambo-style wild man, pumped on testosterone. Some of the characters passing through Mr. Brown's book are that. Others are darkly sinister. Most are measured, disciplined professionals who understand both risk and principle. … At 80, Robert K. Brown stands as a central figure in a shadow world of secrecy and myth. His book opens that world to readers on the outside. There are many who don't like Soldier of Fortune magazine and the culture of rogue warrior exploits it represents. Bob Brown doesn't care.
“As a journalist, Robert K. Brown out-gonzo’s Hunter S. Thompson, fighting in and then reporting on dozens of guerilla wars in the nastiest Petri dishes in the world. The reader is plunged into the arena of late 20th century warfare by the founding publisher and editor of the iconic and iconoclastic Soldier of Fortune magazine…. a rollicking good reminiscence by a man who has lived life to the fullest and emerged alive, fit and successful at 80.…amply illustrated with dozens of photographs and supporting documents and the prose is as witty and colorful as the author himself. The man can write....I’ll keep checking the perimeter, er, the bookstorehoping to find a 'Part II'.”
Richard Venola, former editor of Guns & Ammo
“…jumps out of its page and fills the reader with the adrenalin …. The adrenalin rush is a drug and after a while it keeps turning a good soldier into more adventures, reloading that syringe and re-injecting potency… The average person who will read the book will learn a history of Cold War and post-Cold War actions which would otherwise be polluted by layers of media editors or who would, as they often do, use a buzz word or two at the expense of the truth.”
Bill Northacker,LTC, SF USA (Ret.)
“Bob Brown’s book is well named. It is, on one hand, a concise chronological history of a unique American publishing venture, and on the other, an autobiography of a maverick soldier and his bizarre assortment of cronies. Above all, it is a great read.”
NRA Rifleman Magazine
“Bob’s book is a walk through history and particularly America’s Profession of Arms, both public and private, role in defining and shaping that history. But what is unique is in this highly readable and enjoyable book, is the fact that Bob was intimately involved in not only recording but also shaping that history…”
"...it truly covers the breadth and depth of this well-known (and sometimes controversial) magazine and its maximum leader. As he does in real-life, Brown just tells it like it was in these pages."
Dr Ronald C Thomas
"...its 398 enthralling pages, which march readers through every major battlefield in our collective recent memory, are extremely educative about the life and character of a man many may think they know but will learn eons more about from this book."
Marc Phillip Yablonka, Military Journalist & Author, Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
Lieutenant Colonel Robert K. Brown, USAR (Ret.) has published his autobiography titled, “I Am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing with Devils“. WDW – FL received a copy for review. Robert K. Brown’s (or RKB as he is known to his friends) book is more than just an autobiography, it is a monumental lesson in American and world history.RKB’s book reads like a Tom Clancy novel, may Tom rest in peace.A lover of good whiskey, danger and going where the action is, usually on his own dime, makes him a modern day Ernest Hemingway. Unlike Hemingway who wrote fiction based upon his adventures, RKB writes non-fiction reporting on his personal experiences.
Dr. Richard Swier
“Brown’s new book, I Am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing with Devils, like the man himself, is as blunt, interesting and as innovative as they come. Crusty as hell at times, his meat-and-potatoes style of covering conflicts went on to make the man an icon among his readers…
Al Venter, Tactical Weapons
- Casemate Publishers
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- 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
What People are Saying About This
—Dr. Richard Swier
—Richard Venola, former editor of Guns & Ammo
—John S. Meyer, former Green Beret and author of Across the Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam
—LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) Bestselling author of Heroes Proved
Meet the Author
Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown is a former Green Beret, an author, and founder of Soldier of Fortune magazine.
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