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Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane

Dr Peter Cochrane FAHA has written extensively about war. His books include the companion volume to the ABC series Australians at War, First World War: The Western Front 1916–1918 and Simpson and the Donkey: The making of a legend. He is also the author of the award-winning Colonial Ambition and the novella Governor Bligh and the Short Man.

Peter Cochrane reviews 'Van Diemen's Land' by James Boyce

April 2008, no. 300 01 April 2008
Henry Lawson epitomised the weather-beaten laconic when he said: ‘Death is about the only cheerful thing in the bush.’ A century later, Bill Bryson, in Down Under (2000), picked up where Lawson left off: he defined the ‘real Australia’ as places where ‘no sane per­son would choose to live’. Somewhere in between, Patrick White created one of those dubious entities, a sweat-stained e ... (read more)

Peter Cochrane reviews 'Freedom On The Fatal Shore: Australia's first colony' by John Hirst

July–August 2008, no. 303 01 July 2008
Freedom on the Fatal Shore brings together John Hirst’s celebrated works on the early history of New South Wales: Convict Society and Its Enemies, first published in 1983, and Strange Birth of Colonial Democracy, published in 1988. Both books have been out of print for some time; the chance of picking up a second-hand copy is almost nil. Black Inc. has done historians, students and general reade ... (read more)

‘Desert Masterpiece’ (Introduction to the Text Classics edition of Tobruk 1941 by Chester Wilmot) by Peter Cochrane

June-July 2017, no. 392 01 June 2017
Chester Wilmot was on board British Airways Flight 781 on 10 January 1954 when it exploded in midair and crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off the island of Elba. He was forty-two years old, a distinguished wartime broadcaster, a bestselling historian, a BBC regular, the military correspondent for the Observer and a pioneer of documentary television. He was at the peak of his powers, a success at ... (read more)