Behind the News: A Biography of Peter Russo
University of Western Australia Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 412 pages
Peter Russo (1908-85), commentator, linguist and Asia expert, was one of the most controversial figures in twentieth-century Australian jounalism. While living in Japan in the late 1930s, he developed a close association with some of the country's political leaders, which attracted suspicion and brought him under the surveillance of Australian security officials. After returning to Australia in 1941, he continued to inflame passions with his outspoken views in defence of Japan.
In the postwar period, Russo continued to provoke. For more than four decades he used his newsaper columns and radio broadcasts to educate Australians about their regional neighours and to jolt them into thinking independently about political issues. Russo's relentless criticism of Western intervention in anti-colonial movements in Asia, and his hostility towards American foreign policy in particular, earned him many enemies, and his activities were closely monitored.
Behind the News: A Biography of Peter Russo is the first full-length biography of Russo. This carefully researched book recovers the life of an important figure in the development of Australia's engagement with Asia. Love him or hate him, Peter Russo made Australians think - about their attitutudes, and about the world beyond Australian shores.
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