My Friend the Mercenary by James Brabazon

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Synopsis

In February 2002, British journalist James Brabazon set out to travel with guerrilla forces into Liberia to show the world what was happening in that war-torn country. To protect him, he hired Nick du Toit, a former South African Defence Force soldier who had fought in conflicts across Africa for over three decades. What follows is an incredible behind-the-scenes account of the Liberian rebels — known as the LURD — as they attempt to seize control of the country from government troops led by President Charles Taylor. In this gripping narrative, James Brabazon paints a brilliant portrait of the chaos that tore West Africa apart: nations run by warlords and kleptocrats, rebels fighting to displace them, ordinary people caught in the crossfire — and everywhere adventurers and mercenaries operating in war's dark shadows. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor, and friend in this morally corrosive crucible.
 

About James Brabazon

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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.
 
Published March 1, 2011 by Grove Press. 481 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Friend the Mercenary

Kirkus Reviews

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Brabazon’s respect for du Toit led him to seriously consider his invitation to film a coup he and “business partners” were plotting against another despot, Teodoro Obiango of Equatorial Guinea.

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Publishers Weekly

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Nick joins a byzantine conspiracy to overthrow the government of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea and invites Brabazon to film the prospective coup, a proposal that crosses the boundaries of journalistic ethics, though it strongly appeals to Brabazon's lust for adventure and cash.

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

The Wall Street Journal

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The "friend" in the title of James Brabazon's fascinating memoir is a South African mercenary named Nick du Toit.

Mar 26 2011 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

Scotsman.com

That man was a middle-aged South African mercenary called Nick du Toit, and James Brabazon regarded him as perhaps his dearest friend.

Jun 18 2010 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

M/C Anderson

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Jul 27 2010 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

Kepler's

"My Friend the Mercenary" is a harrowing, true account of a journalist's adventures in the Liberian civil war and the shadowy world of mercenaries.

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The Army Rumour Service

After two weeks with Cobus James leaves Freetown with a promise to stay in touch, a promise that would lead James Brabazon into Liberia and change his life forever.

Jul 25 2011 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

Spectator Book Club

Du Toit will later become involved in the so-called ‘Wonga Coup’, the tragicomic plot that hoped to topple the nasty, oil-rich regime of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

Jul 10 2010 | Read Full Review of My Friend the Mercenary

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