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I Am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing with Devils

by Robert K. Brown, Casemate Publishers, 2013

Mention Robert K. Brown and many people will ask, “Who?” But tell them he is the man behind Soldier of Fortune magazine, founded in Boulder, Colorado, in 1975, and all will say, “Whoa!” At last, we finally have his memoirs, I Am “Soldier of Fortune”: Dancing with Devils.

Brown, a retired lieutenant colonel who served as a Green Beret in Vietnam, has been battling America’s enemies, both foreign and domestic, as well as windbags and foulmouths, most of his adult life. Now, soon to hit 81, he has written a book about his adventures and the traits he values: honor, service, loyalty, faith and allegiance to his country.

The book is fun to read. It is also a great way to get his take on global political reality, political science and political duplicity. Soldiering? This is a how-to and how-not-to book, as told by a man who has done so and knows when not to do so.

You will learn how to break international and domestic laws, which is sometimes OK if your cause is just. What? Brown will explain, because he has been there and done that himself. You will read how Soldier of Fortune assisted the Contras in Nicaragua; broke bread with the KGB; beat the CIA to the goal in Afghanistan; rumbled and rambled in Rhodesia; tramped and retramped in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and (maybe) China.

Brown led from the front in these real life-and-death adventures. He planned the missions in detail, recruited his own people, paid the bills and led the way. Most of these international intrigue and action stories made it into Soldier of Fortune because Brown always had rogue warrior journalists with him, guys who had experience wielding military weapons along with cameras, notebooks and laptops.


Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Vietnam. To subscribe, click here.