Ian Mather has been a journalist for 48 years, most of the time as a foreign and defence correspondent for national newspapers. He is now an author, a freelance journalist and an international election monitor. He is married with three grown-up children and lives in Muswell Hill, London.  
  Ian Mather’s career as a newspaper correspondent covered many of the conflicts of the late-Twentieth century. From hot wars, such as Vietnam, to the Arctic wastes of the Cold War, he witnessed major events first-hand. This is his story, as recollected from the unique resource of hundreds of notebooks he kept during his career, which included many years as Defence Correspondent for The Observer. Since journalism is the first draft of history, and notebooks are its raw material, they are, therefore, historical documents, and often unique.Volume Three has just been published, and he has also written a separate account of his time in an Argentinian prison, and his subsequent return to Argentina.  
  Volume 1 1967 - 1980   Volume 2 1979 - 1985   Volume 3 1986 - 1998
Hot War, Cold War Volume One covers the years 1967 to 1980, from the dying embers of British rule in Aden, through the Nigerian Civil War, the United States’ involvement in Vietnam, and Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. The author witnessed war and upheavals in the Sub-Continent, and the violent eruption of fundamentalist Islam in revolutionary Iran. Then, as the decade closes, these worlds are brought head-to-head in the Russian invasion of Afghanistan – an event at which he was the only Western journalist present. With illustrations and photographs, many taken by the author.   Volume Two covers his experiences in the Iran-Iraq war, the longest war of the 20th century, his exclusive reporting of the US embassy hostage crisis in Iran and an encounter with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. He is also in war-torn Lebanon, where a close friend is murdered, and in Africa to witness war and dictatorship. As the Cold War intensifies, he travels in a nuclear bomber and in submarines, goes inside missile silos and nuclear test sites, and as a prisoner of Argentina on espionage charges during the Falklands War, becomes part of the story.   In Volume Three, as Soviet Communism collapses, the author is on the scene to witness the fall of dictators and a resurgent West. But optimism quickly gives way to new threats. With Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait igniting the first Gulf War, the author trails the infamous ‘Highway of Death’, and campaigns to spare a colleague from execution at the hands of Saddam. He dodges sniper fire in war-torn Yugoslavia, and then, as the Cold War between East and West subsides, he pays a final visit to Russia’s redundant rusting nuclear submarines, a fitting place to end a fascinating career.  
  Contents - Volume 1   Contents - Volume 2   Contents - Volume 3  
During the Falklands War in 1982 Ian Mather, Defence Correspondent of The Observer, was arrested in Argentina. He was charged with espionage and locked up in Ushuaia Prison, Tierra Del Fuego - the most southerly prison in the world. This is his account of how he survived. It reveals how journalists are put in peril when governments blur the borderline between legitimate reporting and the murky world of espionage.