“I wish I had been born in the time of Sir Francis Drake, out robbing the Spaniards. You brought the gold back to the queen, and she made you a knight. You were respectable, even though you were a thief!” – Mike Hoare
The ‘leatherbound’ edition of 100 numbered copies – signed by Mike Hoare and Chris Hoare - is sold exclusively through this site.
The softcover is available in bookshops in South Africa, and intermittently in the UK and Ireland; and from various UK online outlets such as Foyles and Waterstones, also intermittently. Or order through this website.
In 1964-1965 Colonel Mike Hoare led 300 ‘Wild Geese’ across the Congo to crush a communist rebellion, rescue 2000 nuns and priests from barbarity, beat Che Guevara … and become a legend.
Of Irish blood, Mike was schooled in England and, during World War 2, was the ‘best bloody soldier in the British Army’. He demobbed as major, qualified in London as a chartered accountant and emigrated to South Africa.
Going rogue, he started living dangerously to get more out of life, including trans-Africa motorbike trips, bluewater sailing, exploring remote areas, and leading safaris in the Kalahari Desert. Here Mike got to know the CIA agent who was to change his life … and Nelson Mandela’s. Later Mike was technical advisor to the film The Wild Geese, which starred Richard Burton playing the Mike Hoare character.
Reflections from readers who have enjoyed "The Legend".
I found this book a cracking read and recommend it to those who want to miss a night's sleep.Frederick Forsyth author of The Dogs of War and The Day of the Jackal
Many Irishmen have made a mark on history but few as profound as Mike Hoare – a name that carries many tags: soldier, legend, 'Mad Mike', mercenary commander, saviour of nuns, Congo, yachtsman, Seychelles coup, author, and gentleman. This is the story of a man born to a life of adventure and soldiering. It is also a story of perseverance, honour, and changing lives, while living dangerously. Read it – it won't disappoint you!Eeben Barlow founder/chairman of Executive Outcomes, currently chairman of STTEP
Mike Hoare got more out of life by living dangerously but he was also a gentleman adventurer. Like me, he fell under Africa's spell. A rollicking good read.Kingsley Holgate adventurer
I have spent time with Dogs of War on three continents. In the process I have met most of the major players, but none have matched either the panache or the drive of the best freelance soldier of them all, 'Mad Mike' Hoare. His son Chris, charged with writing this complete biography of 'The Legend', has come up trumps. I found The Legend exceptionally well written. Chris has handled his father's story with remarkable clarity and insight.Al J. Venter author of Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary as well as War Dog: Fighting Other People's Wars
If there is just one non-fiction book you read in the next year, make sure it is 'Mad Mike' Hoare: The Legend. Mike's son has meticulously captured the extraordinary life and times of Hoare Senior, now 99 and living in Durban. It's a fascinating biography, a rollicking read that kept my bedside light burning into the wee hours and which had me absolutely riveted.Peta Lee writing in Village Talk, 30 November 2018. Howick, South Africa
Any book about a controversial figure that is subtitled 'The Legend' ought to be treated with caution, but the story of 'Mad Mike' as written by his son Chris does a good job of giving the reader a balanced and fairly critical view of the mercenary leader, sailor and writer. Read more ...Guy Martin writing in defenceWeb, 27 February 2019
Last of the gentleman mercenaries: the incredible life of Wild Geese leader 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Read more ...Jake Kerridge writing in The Telegraph, 15 March 2019
Mike Hoare was far from mad and, being short and well presented, was the opposite of the stereotypical macho mercenary image. The book gives a balanced and complete view of the equally famous and infamous mercenary leader, sailor and writer.Sunday Times Johannesburg, 28 April 2019
Chris Hoare is the eldest son of Mike Hoare. He was educated at one of the top private schools in South Africa, Michaelhouse, and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Natal in South Africa.
Chris spent most of his working life in journalism of different kinds and was thus the ideal person to distil Mike Hoare’s unusual life of adventure into what the acclaimed novelist Frederick Forsyth describes as “a cracking read”.
With unique access to Mike and his story, it took Chris about 12 years, working between times, to research and write this authoritative biography which separates the man from the myth.
Interviews and News Reports about Mike Hoare, from around the world.
Chris spent almost an hour in conversation with Roman Cabarnac on the Renegade Report podcast. Listen here
Unconventional lives in Africa & beyond. Chris Hoare discusses the extraordinary life of his father, 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Listen here
BBC Radio 4 Podcast about the mercenary leader known as 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Listen here
On 2GB Australia's "Overnight with Michael McLaren", Chris Hoare joins Michael to talk about the extraordinary life of his father. Listen here
Chris is on the line with Cape Talk to chat about his Dad's life as a mercenary & soldier of fortune. Listen here
Some of the stories Chris Hoare tells on this episode of Force for Hire are not for the fainthearted. Listen here