When both Black September and the IRA put his name on their hit-lists, war correspondent Christopher Dyson’s Bexhill home was put under police surveilance.
The death-threat was a focal-point in a 60-year career which thrust him into the danger zones of most of the conflicts of the second half of the troubled 20th Century and into the 21st.
Now the journalist and author of a number of definitive books on war and international terrorism has found time to write his own story.
Christopher Dobson grew up in the London Blitz. By 23 he was one of Lord Beaverbrook’s “Young Eagles” on the Daily Express.
Bombs Bullets and Bylines (United.p.c £25) crackles like gunfire - one hair-raising brush with death following another.
The reader is taken to the front line in the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War; treads a fine line in Crossmaglen’s IRA “bandit country” and is helicoptered into besieged Khe Sanh to share the suffering of American and South Vietnamese troops.
At £25, this is a pricey paperback. But this adoptive Bexhillian writes as crisply and economically as ever. Its 600-plus pages are action-packed. From Kruschev’s tirades to briefings by General “Arik” Sharon in his command vehicle as the Yom Kippur war raged, the reader is given a whirlwind trip through six momentous decades.
Here are the people who made history, observed at close-quarters by someone who reported on history in the making.
No wonder Christopher and his wife Shirley sought sanctuary for their family in quiet Bexhill. That tranquillity was shattered when the Special Branch found his name on the hit-lists But this book is all about dodging bombs and bullets in order to achieve those coveted bylines..