Curtin's legacy and Australia at war
A new history of Australia at war and the legacy of Prime Minister John Curtin is being written by Bob Wurth, author of four previous books on the Asia-Pacific region.
The book will be published in 2013 by Pan Macmillan Australia.
Research into the wartime legacy of Prime Minister John Curtin last year took Wurth to Canberra, Tokyo, London and Cambridge, thanks to a fellowship from the Australian Prime Ministers Centre, part of the Museum of Australian Democracy.
In Tokyo, Bob Wurth undertook research, aided by translator Kyal Hill, at the National Institute for Defence Studies, the National Diet Library, the Diplomatic Record Office, the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum and additionally spoke with Japanese historical experts on Australian participation in the Pacific war.
In London, Wurth undertook more extensive study at the National Archives, the Imperial War Museum, the British Library, and at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College. In Cambridge he stayed at Churchill College, where he undertook research at the Churchill Centre.
Bob Wurth has also enjoyed working closely with the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library where he was the Library's 2009 visiting scholar at Curtin University, Perth.
Much has been written about Curtin, Churchill and the war, but it is surprising what else can be revealed about the relationship and the war with Japan, Wurth says.
[Pictures above from the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library: Curtin with Churchill, and Curtin in his study in The Lodge, Canberra.]
Bob Wurth's previous books on the Second World War include 1942, Australia's greatest peril (Pan Macmillan 2008) and Saving Australia, Curtin's secret peace with Japan (Lothian, 2006).
Here are some reviews for the book Saving Australia:
Tony Stephens, Sydney Morning Herald:
"Bob Wurth has written an extraordinary book about a remarkable period of history..."
Australian Book Review: "...richly textured book..."
West Australian: "...important contribution to the history of our darkest hours..."
The Bulletin: "...reshape the way historians view the war."
Canberra Times: "Intriguing, thoroughly researched, easy to read."
The Age: "...study of a country at war..."
ABC Online (Articulate): "...fascinating and poignant..."
Courier Mail: "...Wurth succeeds."
Herald Sun: “… the meticulous research of Brisbane-based writer Bob Wurth has unearthed in fascinating detail…”
Willie Phua revisits Vietnam
Cameraman Willie Phua is revisiting Vietnam after many years in March 2012 with wife Cindy and 20 plus former foreign correspondents and friends.
As a war cameramen in 1972, Willie Phua came under intense Viet Cong fire while on assignment on a South Vietnamese patrol boat on the Saigon River. Phua's Vietnamese sound recordist and the boat's gunner were badly wounded in the 1972 attack, after which he declined to return to Vietnam during the war. Phua's Vietnam story was featured in the book Capturing Asia.
The 2013 visit will take in Hanoi and major points south to Ho Chi Minh city.
Willie Phua during the Vietnam War
'Engrossing' Capturing Asia
Singaporean Willie Phua is the subject of Bob Wurth's biography, Capturing Asia, by ABC Books in Sydney.
In a review The Sydney Morning Herald said:
"It is the lot of the TV cameraman that they are largely ignored. At best they are a small credit at the end of a story. Yet, as this genuinely engrossing book demonstrates, they lead interesting lives, meet fascinating people and record momentous events."
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 7.30 VIDEO ON WILLIE PHUA
See the 7.30 Report video on Willie Phua's amazing career covering Asia for the ABC, including some of his major assignments.
David Day's new book
David Day's sumptuous and handsome book draws upon libraries and archives from around the world, from Britain to Argentina and Norway to New Zealand, to provide the first, large-scale history of Antarctica.
On one level, it is the story of explorers battling the elements in the most hostile place on earth as they strive for personal triumph, commercial gain and national glory.
On another level, it is the story of nations seeking to incorporate the Antarctic into their national narratives and to claim its frozen wastes as their own. The book blends these stories into a groundbreaking history of human interaction with the last continent on earth.