I am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing With the Devils

Robert K. Brown, former Green Beret and founder of Soldier of Fortune magazine
Robert K. Brown, former Green Beret and founder of Soldier of Fortune magazine (Photo: Reddit)

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.

Soldier of Fortune

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 reporting—a 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 worldwide.

Soldier of Fortune is a legendary SOF magazine founded by Robert K. Brown
Soldier of Fortune is a legendary SOF magazine founded by Robert K. Brown (Photo: Soldier of Fortune)

Book

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, led them, or tread into unchartered territory.

Plot

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 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, Nicaragua, and Peru after a devastating earthquake.

Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, founder of the Soldier of Fortune magazine
Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, founder of the Soldier of Fortune magazine (Photo: Soldier of Fortune)

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, Brown and his veteran teams’ exploits 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.”

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