Reviewed – Barassi

At the outset, let me declare I’ve been a Melbourne Football Club supporter since I can remember. Flower, Grinter, Stynes. I wore number 2 on my school footy jumper and treasured the autographed photo from Robbie Flower. Barassi was a name spoken with the same reverence as Ted Whitten. That said, I knew little of the history of the Dees, less, to be honest about Norm Smith. I am therefore very glad I read Peter Lalor’s book, simply entitled ‘Barassi’. This book isn’t about one man; though it i...
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Reviewed – Soldier

General Colin Powell, is, arguably, one of the most well-known Americans of the past decades - a solider, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, and then, eventually, Secretary of State. The biography on him, by Karen deYoung, is, to be honest, very long - but that's not necessarily to its detriment. It's as much a history of America and American politics, of American military history and of the Byzantine world of Republican politics in the first term of President Geo...
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Reviewed – Given Up for Dead – America’s Heroic Stand at Wake Island

Wake Island sits alone, an atoll in Pacific Ocean, in the middle of the nowhere, unimportant - at least it was until the US foresaw a coming war with Japan and moved (very slowly) to fortify it and establish it as a forward base. Given Up for Dead - America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island by Bill Sloan explains the background, and then we're introduced to the men central to the events that occurred there - US Navy, Marine and civilian. This book's value is how it moves seamlessly from strategic...
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Reviewed – ANZAC Fury

Peter Thompson's work on the Battle of Crete in 1941 is simply excellent. If you find military / political history fascinating, this is the type of book that you'll start and not want to stop till you're done. Thompson's 2008 work, Pacific Fury, was brilliant - and this is no different. To his credit, he focuses on the strategic decisions that led to the Australian and New Zealand forces being on Crete in the first place, and I learned much of the military-political machinations that led to the...
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Reviewed – The Lords of Discipline

It's ironic that this book is the first of many I'll be reviewing and writing on - sometimes New Year's ideas have a habit of conspiring with Kindle one-click purchasing and a couple of days to enjoy before the cricket starts...! On the face of it, this book was to be a fascinating insight into the life of a cadet (think uni student) at an American military 'school' / uni called 'the Institute'. I'd never read anything by Pat Conroy before, and I'm still not sure if I will again. The book is ...
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