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They Live By The Pen


A selection of articles by CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'KATANGA 1960-63: MERCENARIES, SPIES AND THE AFRICAN NATION THAT WAGED WAR ON THE WORLD' and 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com), about writers, books, and the kind of men who hammer out words on a busted typewriter with a 9mm in their belt and a bottle of vodka waiting on the sideboard. From art to pulp and back again.



BOOKS - 1 x Article NEW


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News, Updates, and All Kinds of Cultural and Military Weirdness

Anyone who fancies a break from the turmoil of everything can cleanse their minds by reading about all kinds of cultural and military weirdness on my new blog. Expect to find short bursts of real-life insanity, updated regularly. I hope.

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You'll find posts about Englishmen in the Spanish Foreign Legion, Pete Townshend of The Who shilling for the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, the woman who designed Ernest Hemingway's book covers, and Woody Allen fighting a kangaroo. And Filipino vampires. Hope you enjoy and remember to click the follow button at the bottom of the page.


BOOKS - 1 x Article NEW


Don't Bury Me Alone

Three More Classic Non-Fiction Books

CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' looks at another three non-fiction greats.


BOOKS - 1 x Article


Self-Inflicted Wounds

Four Non-Fiction Books You Need to Read

CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' is sitting in a Warszawa cafe, thinking non-fiction, bank robbery, and girls.


CRIME - 1 x Article


A Short History of Russian Roulette in Australia

Earless Gunmen, Vietnamese Gangsters, and a Pool Hall in Footscray c.1987

Another extract from my history of Russian Roulette. This time we're in Australia with gun loving standover man Mark Brandon 'Chopper' Read and the cream of the Melbourne underworld. Did anyone ever win money by playing the suicidal gun game? Chopper did. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' has the details.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


The Day of the Mkhedrioni

How the Bank Robbing Playwright Jaba Ioseliani and His Gang of Mafia Paramilitaries Made Modern Georgia (1988-1995)

The Soviet Bloc. 1988. The foundations of the communist system are crumbling, nationalist passions are rising, and everyone wants to make money. A good time to start an illegal Georgian nationalist militia with one foot in the Mafia and a taste for leather jackets. Jaba Ioseliani thought so and within four years he was the most powerful man in newly independent Georgia. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN looks at the rise and fall of the Mkhedrioni, the only militia group led by a bank robbing playwright.



BIOGRAPHY - 1 x Article


The Man Who Invented Russian Roulette

The Forgotten Life of Georges Surdez (1900-49)

The suicidal gun game of Russian Roulette originated in Tsarist Russia but remained nameless until it hit America just before the Second World War. Its gambling moniker was the invention of Georges Arthur Surdez, a Swiss-born and Brooklyn-based writer of pulp fiction stories. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN examines the career of a writer from the literary underbelly of American culture.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


Black Sheep


One Hundred Years of Bankrupt British Aristocrats, Corrupt Golden Youths, and Frankly Untrustworthy Remittance Men

Murdered Earls, bisexual public school men, and war heroes with dark secrets. The political power of Britainís upper classes may have declined in recent years but their instinct to lie, cheat, murder and steal is as strong as ever. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN is your guide through a library of wrong doing. Please check your morals at the door.


ADMIN - 1 x Article


Site Timeline


Information on the construction and administration of Bright Review

The page for dates, contact information, and an easy-on-the-eye list of the Bright Review articles.


Katanga 1960-63 Book Cover






General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover








New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen


General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover





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