My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir by James Brabazon

By James Brabazon

James Brabazon, a warfare reporter and filmmaker, was once already a veteran of many clash zones through his early thirties. So while he used to be provided an particular chance to file from Liberia, stuck up in a vicious civil warfare, it proved too tempting to show down. He had to take a bodyguard, somebody with robust wisdom of the zone and, extra importantly, a person with a gun slung over his shoulder. James employed Nick du Toit, a former South African soldier and mercenary commander, to steer him into the bloody international of Liberia's rebels. in the course of their time jointly, James and Nick slowly shaped an not likely friendship, cast in the course of sizzling days lower than unrelenting gunfire. Narrowly surviving the harrowing adventure, James again to the quieter, saner confines of his lifestyles in London. yet just a couple of months later he came upon himself again with Nick in a fly-blown bar in West Africa plotting one other, even more harmful journey— this time to the center of Equatorial Guinea. Nick's challenge: to overthrow the govt. of this tiny country fabulously wealthy in oil.

My pal the Mercenary is an exploration of the mercenary fable and a bankruptcy within the tale of contemporary Africa. it's a brutally sincere and undeniably human account of a trip into the guts of what it takes to be a chum, a survivor and a journalist within the morally corrosive crucible of struggle.

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My Friend the Mercenary: A Memoir

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If so, what? As I replay the ancient tapes of memory, I begin to see the story from quite a new angle. I had always thought that I had been the seducer, as I was to prove to be for the rest of my life, and 32 • PALIMPSEST so it had never occurred to me that it might have been the other way around. Like me, Jimmie would have found repellent the idea of a sexual act with a grown man. But with another boy, an equal other half, it is the most natural business there is. Yet if he had made the first move ...

He was an athlete; I played nothing except erratic tennis. I read everything that I could; he read as little as possible. But I am intrigued by a letter he wrote his mother from Guam, in the South Pacific. Would she send him Whitman's Leaves qf Grass? This set off a tremor. He and I had certainly lived out the Calamus idyll. -had suggested that he read Whitman. Is this to be a mystery story? Who was he, after all? Will I ever know now? I remember him mostly in flashes. I'd go with him to hear Benny Goodman at the Capitol Theater.

Senator Gore owned three acres of woods above the creek where, shortly before my birth, he had built a gray stone mansion. Because of T. P. S. , and built his house, now residence to the Malaysian ambassador. In tqe crash of 1929, Gore lost most of his money; in 1930 he returned to the Senate. Predictably, he fell foul of the new president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. By then, Gore was a populist turned conservative. He and the president quarreled over whether or not the dollar should go off the gold standard.

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