Telling it all, from the ringside and the inside.
The time was the early 1940s. Australia, a nation of just 7 million people with several army divisions fighting in the Middle East was practically defenceless on the home front when the Japanese, having bombed Darwin three times were preparing to attack again.
Yet at this time, one of the most dangerous and bloody in Australia's history, our political leaders were busy fighting not the enemy, but each other.
Some of those elected to manage the country were squabbling politically, neglecting the national interest for self interest. This was the mess facing John Curtin when he became Prime Minister, and had to confront Winston Churchill to bring troops home to try to defend our own soil from further Japanese attacks.
These events and a great many more (plus others which could not be reported at the time) were seen first hand by the author, and are part of this dramatic saga Breaking The News by Tom Mead, a newspaper journalist for more than 60 years, who had a ringside seat in the Canberra press gallery in the days of Curtin, Chifley and Menzies.
Later, following a successful career in newspapers which led to Tom being appointed Chief of Staff of Sydney's Daily Telegraph in the 1950s, then subsequently being the architect of Sydney's big, modern suburban newspapers in the 1960s, he saw politics from the inside as a member of the NSW parliament for 11 years in the turbulent and controversial Askin era.
This is not strictly an autobiography. It is more a story which brings to life the interesting and dramatic events and people who shaped Australia's history over those exciting years, as they were seen through the author's eyes.
They make compelling reading today, including the inside stories on:
- General MacArthur coming to Australia as the allied headquarters in the Pacific.
- The Packer vs Murdoch battles for control of the suburban news and advertising empire.
- A hospital X-ray used to uncover a double murder.
- The long battle to free a major trade union from Communist control.
- The Post War Peace Movement and the underlying political chicanery.
All these stories plus many more make Breaking The News exciting and essential reading for anyone interested in Australian politics and Australia's modern history.