June 29th 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY John Setka, for all his faults, is the perfect scapegoat

FIGHTING FUND NCC president Patrick J. Byrne outlines the goals for 2019

SPECIAL FEATURE Author Rod Dreher brings St Benedict to bear on our decline and fall

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS One million protest China's attack on Hong Kong's freedom

GENDER POLITICS Vatican issues document on gender ideology

POLITICS AND SOCIETY New secularist strategies to bury Christianity

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki, Part 4: Ancient Jewish view of the cosmos

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal: An account from the live streaming

BANKING FEATURE Greed works ... at least for a while and for a few

IDEOLOGY Feminist claims for equality, Part 2: What feminism should be

IDEOLOGY WARS Roger Scruton and the Tories: a sorry tale

MUSIC Melodic abundance: John, Paul, Duke and Antonio

CINEMA The End: Staging the apocalypse

BOOK REVIEW Scenes from Dante's Inferno

BOOK REVIEW Mrs Gould: she who drew the pictures

LETTERS

POETRY

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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