September 21st 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Federal Government should abolish Renewable Energy Certificates

ENERGY BP annual Review shows consumption, production up

CANBERRA OBSERVED NSW Labor caught in Panda's paws doing 'whatever it takes'

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Religious discrimination bill: A litany of questions

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Boris' brinkmanship shakes up Britain, EU

WATER POLICY Angry farmers protest over Murray-Darling Basin Plan ... again

TECHNOLOGY Are we the dumbest devices in the room?

HISTORY AND POLITICS Lord Acton, nationalism and multiculturalism, Part 2

LITERATURE D.H. Lawrence: The Modernist in exile

MUSIC Dialectical transcendence

CINEMA The Farewell: Elegant and bittersweet

BOOK REVIEW Owning up to market imperfections

BOOK REVIEW Heroism and faith under tyranny

BOOK REVIEW The love that comes after love is gone

LETTERS

Books promotion page

KING OF THE AIR:
The Turbulent Life of Charles Kingsford Smith

Ann Blainey

$49.99


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About the book

A revealing portrait of a brilliant and troubled figure – a daredevil of the skies.

Charles Kingsford Smith was the most commanding flyer of the golden age of aviation. In three short years, he broke records with his astounding and daring voyages: the first trans-Pacific flight from America to Australia, the first flight across the Tasman, the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland. He did it all with such courage, modesty and charm that Australia and the world fell in love with him. A tickertape parade was held in his honour on New York’s Fifth Avenue. At home, he became a national hero, “Our Smithy”.

Yet his achievements belied a traumatic past. He had witnessed the horror of World War I – first as a soldier at Gallipoli, later as a combat pilot with the Royal Flying Corps – and, like so many of his generation, he bore physical and emotional scars. The public saw the derring-do; only those close to him knew the anxious, troubled individual who pushed himself to the edge of health and sanity.

In November 1935, Kingford Smith’s plane crashed and he was lost at sea near Burma, his body never to be recovered. This brilliant work from one of Australia’s foremost biographers reveals the complicated, tumultuous life of a fascinating figure, who pursued his obsession to the greatest heights of fame and catastrophe.

About the author

Ann Blainey is the author of the acclaimed I Am Melba, which won the 2009 National Biography Award and was the most popular book in the 2009 State Library of Victoria Summer Reads program. Her other books include biographies of Leigh Hunt and the Kemble sisters. She has served on the council of two Australian opera companies and of the Percy Grainger Museum in Melbourne, where she lives.

 

Praise for King of the Air

“Brilliant … Blainey’s fascinating book focuses on the inner as well as the outer man. While Smithy’s career highlights may be well known, his ambiguous relationship with fame, his drinking, and his doubts and fears were not. In this beautifully written, scrupulously researched and meticulously indexed work, Blainey has filled this gap.” – Ross Fitzgerald, The Age

“Crisply written … Even people not particularly interested in the feats of aviators will find this book an engrossing read.” – Jim Davidson, The Sydney Morning Herald


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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99


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