The Modern Mercenary: Dog of War, or Soldier of Honour?

Peter Tickler, Author P. Stephens $0 (224p) ISBN 978-0-85059-812-4
British writer Tickler repeats the oft-told tale of ""Mad Mike'' Hoare's 5 Commando in the Congro and his abortive attempt to stage a coup in the Seychelles, and reviews the ugly adventures of Costas Georgiou (nom de guerre: Callan) in Angola. There is scattered notice of mercenary activities in Biafra, Uganda and Oman, and a long interview with a British merc who was a defendant in the show-trial of Callan and his mob staged by President Neto of Angola in 1976. In this cursory survey of ``mercenarism'' author's word over the past 30 years, Tickler makes a multitude of generalities, many of them having to do with U.S. and British government support of mercenaries, but provides scant evidence. He discusses ``the American obsession with the merc way of life'' and, in support of this claim, notes only that Soldier of Fortune magazine sells well and that there are many ``schools'' for mercenaries in the American boondocks. He probes the psychology of the mercenary and comes up with a few unsurprising conclusions about peacetime boredom, the hankering after adventure and youthful naivete. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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