What I’ve been reading this week

I’ve had some time off, and a few trips have meant I’ve had the chance to do a bit of reading.

TNC’s ‘Letter to my son‘ is heartbreaking and exceptional. Well worth reading. I’ve also been reading Accelerando,  which I’m only partially into. So far it’s fun – based on the first few chapters I’d recommend it as a good read.

What took the bulk of my time, though, was working my way through volume I and II of Jennifer Hocking’s biography of Gough Whitlam. I’m not quite finished, but I’m into the portion where she covers Whitlam’s post-Parliamentary career, so I think it’s worth stopping to reflect.

Hocking’s done a brilliant job of researching exhaustively, and presenting it simply and readably. Chronologies and political interactions that are inevitably complex and intricate are generally presented in a way that gets to the main issues, without too much extraneous material.

Her allocation of material is interesting too; it’s an entire volume to cover the period before Whitlam even becomes Prime Minister, starting with ancestors a few generations back. That’s undoubtedly important to give context, and it does provide some – my own interest was far more in his period of government, and obviously of his dismissal.

There’s a lot that could be said about the dismissal. I feel as though I could read several more books on the topic before I’d heard every view. As a minor footnote, I’d add that if you’re interested in the dismissal, the 1932 incident is also worth reading up on.

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