Australia and the Pacific: A history
NewSouth, $39.99 pb, 476 pp
Travel itineraries are significant in the world of diplomacy, as Ian Hoskins illustrates in this panoramic survey of Australia’s interactions with the Pacific. Gareth Evans, freshly installed as Australia’s foreign minister in 1988, made a point of visiting the South Pacific neighbourhood before paying his country’s traditional obeisance to Washington and the European capitals. Within a month he had visited Papua New Guinea, Nauru, the Solomons, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. Evans was sending a message, visibly prioritising ‘our Asia-Pacific geography over our Euro-Atlantic history’.