OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE : TICKET INFORMATION - LIMITED PLACES
‘In Conversation With Al Venter’
Thursday 26th May, 6:30 PM
In partnership with the Frontline Club, you are warmly invited to this Book Signing event that will see Al Venter in conversation with journalist John Coster, discussing his experiences of modern African conflicts.
Al Venter’s unusual claim to fame is that, after covering conflicts on almost all continents for near-on five decades, he is still alive. That comes through rather forcefully in his last book, Barrel of a Gun, recently released in the US and Britain.
Doing a personal tally while writing “Barrel” he discovered that he’d had about a dozen whisker-width scrapes, most of which might have ended otherwise. He puts a lot of it down to luck and a peculiar predilection for regarding the most absurdly dangerous situations as comical, especially when it is anything but. It is all nerves, he admits, but goes on to say that a smile and a bit of banter when the chips really are down, sometimes helps.
In a more serious vein, Al J. Venter is described by Wikipedia as a war correspondent, documentary filmmaker and author of more than 40 books (45, in fact). He has covered violence and insurrection just about everywhere. Al served as African and Middle East correspondent for Jane’s International Defence Review and has reported on a number of Africa’s bloodiest wars including the Nigerian Civil War, the Ugandan conflict, Rhodesia, the Sudan, Angola, the South African Border War, the Congo as well as Portuguese Guinea and Sierra Leone. In addition he has undertaken three military assignments with Executive Outcomes and a Joint-STAR mission with the United States Air Force over Kosovo.
His reports on Lisbon’s colonial wars in Africa during the 1960s/ 1970s resulted in a book on that series of colonial struggles being published by the Munger Africana Library of the California Institute of Technology. In 1985, under the auspices of the CIA, he made a one-hour documentary that commemorated the 5th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He was briefly arrested for “gun running” across the American border from Canada, but a few calls to Washington got him off the hook on that one...
More recently, Venter was active in Sierra Leone when he flew combat with the South African helicopter gunship pilot Neal Ellis. With two side-gunners at the rear armed with GPMGs, he went to war for five weeks in a Russian Mi-24 helicopter gunship (that leaked when it rained). Much of that period formed the backdrop to his book on mercenaries, titled War Dog.
He has written four books on nuclear warfare and related issues including Iran’s Nuclear Option as well as Allah’s Bomb This tally includes the title How South Africa Built Six Atom Bombs. He is currently working on a book on Al-Qaeda and another on diving with sharks, which he does rather a lot.
This is a rare and unprecedented opportunity to hear Al speak; expect a searching and revealing evening that will cover blood diamonds, al-Qaeda and the Islamic quest for nuclear weapons. Al will also be talking about his new book: “Neal Ellis - Helicopter Gunship Pilot: Mercenary”.
The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London, W2 1QJ
Booking Essential - RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org