About Me

Franco's International Brigades on the shelf at Foyles'sI‘m an English writer who’s lived in London and Brussels, and is currently based in Eastern Europe. My day jobs have included journalist, legal representative for asylum seekers, and English language teacher. In off-the-clock adventures I’ve interviewed retired mercenaries about African wars, discussed lost causes with political extremists, and got drunk with an ex-mujahidin who knew Osama Bin Laden.

My first book, ‘Franco’s International Brigades: Adventurers, Fascists, and Christian Crusaders in the Spanish Civil War’, has been published in four editions, including an English ebook, an Oxford University Press paperback, and a Spanish hardback with Destino of Barcelona. My second book ‘Katanga: Mercenaries, Spies and the African Nation that Waged War on the World’ was published by The History Press in the autumn of 2015. The third book, ‘Lost Lions of Judah: Haile Selassie’s Mongrel Foreign Legion’, about foreign involvement in Ethiopia’s battle against Fascism, was published by Amberley on 15 June 2017.

My latest book Soldiers of a Different God: How the Counter-Jihad gave Us Murder, Mayhem, and the Trump Presidency was published by Amberley in autumn 2018.

This blog is a home for the cultural and military weirdness I’ve come across while researching my books.

Email me: brightreview [at] aol [dot] com .

My name is pronounced “O-Thun”, if you were wondering.

4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Chris, thanks for the article about the monkey that bumped off Waugh’s nemesis.

    In light of what can happen in such unguarded moments, my next visit to the city zoo will be noticeably more circumspect.

    The plan is this: I’ll have a moonlighting welder create a portable cage, which rolls on wheels, in which I’ll recline safe and sound as we wobble along on the path past the exhibits. My wife will have to push. How to make such a project sound enticing? Can she be trusted with the keys?

    Having spent seven years working in three separate Wall Street securities vaults, the received wisdom here is that from the vantage point of being inside the safety cage, it should seem like Old Paycheck Home Week.

    Don Reed


    • Hi Don. It might be easier to put the monkey inside your custom-made cage and keep said cage stationary while you and your wife walk around it. If that fails then don’t fear for your health. You should be in no danger as long as you treat the monkey with respect and buy it breakfast in the morning. However, this advice is not legally binding in either human or simian courts of law.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was born in the Belgian Congo and my father died as military during the Katanga Secession. I have some comments and additional information for you. How can I mail my comments to you?


    • Hi Patrick. You can email me at brightreview[at]aol[dot]com, replacing the words in brackets with their symbols. If you have any problems getting through then let me know here and I’ll provide another email address. Look forward to hearing from you.


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