This is a long and at times difficult book to read. Not because of its complexity but because of the extraordinary detail and the necessarily sequencing problems; returning to earlier dates and telling a different part of the story. All biographers have those problems but I don't think Greard Henderson has mastered the art. Some of the earlier parts of the book are tedious especially if one is familiar with the background. There are editorial mistakes here and there such as Ned Kelly was hanged in 1880 not 1890 and the author insists on at least two occasions that Hilaire Belloc was a convert. Not so he was an alumnus of Newman's Birmingham Oratory just prior to such other luminaries as Bill Slim Australia's GG in the 1950s. Belloc was a lifelong Catholic. The early part of the book has a sort of breathlessness to it as though the author is in a hurry to tell you as much as he can in as short a time as possible
The book deals in detail with the now legendary "split" in the ALP and gives a good account of the dichotomy between the NCC and the DLP. I have always admired Santamaria but have been puzzled about those who don't, especially those who originally were followers. This book helps the understanding of why stalwarts like Gerald Mercer (who I also have a lot of time for) left him in the early eighties. Santamaria was very divisive, incredibly intelligent and energetic and an awful pessimist but he was steadfast and constant. One wonders what he would have made of the society that has grown in the last twenty years, thank God he went to his maker before having to witness the Gay Marriage and LGBTI phenomenon. A worthy and honestly critical book about a worthy but flawed man.
Finally I would like to have read more about the relationship with Col Ted Serong during the latter's time in Vietnam. There are many that believe that Santa was in receipt of inside information, even confidential information that could only have come from one source. It has never been substantiated but someone knows the truth.
- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: MIEGUNYAH PRESS; 1 edition (3 August 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0522868584
- ISBN-13: 978-0522868586
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 24 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 980 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)