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Other Non-fiction

This category is a catch-all for books that we can't easily classify. Where would you classify Spectacular Australian Sea Rescues? Sport? Self-improvement? Culture and Society?


Five Holocausts by Derek J. Wilson. ISBN 1877228419. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $40.00.

In the aftermath of 9/11 many Americans responded with "Why us? What did we do to anybody?" Profound ignorance of American role in third world poverty and major environmental threats is inexcusable. Everyone in the West should make this book required reading. Only when we understand how our rampant Capitalism and Militarism have caused many of the world's problems will we be able to answer the question "Why us?"

Most of us would like to do something about the great and troubling issues described in this book -- but most of us tell ourselves that we can't.

What Derek Wilson calls the Five Holocausts -- militarism, human oppression, economic destitution, the population explosion and environmental destruction -- may seem too big, too complex, and perhaps, in the end, too frightening to grasp.

Yet grasp them we must, because the time is coming when muddling through won't be enough.

Here is a guide to these vital issues, distilled by Derek Wilson from his long study of source material and his many years of thinking and writing about the future of the planet.

For all their complexity, these five looming catastrophes have a common character. Each implies self-destructive behavior on a global scale. It's as if the whole of the world's population has been seized by collective irrationality.

And here lies the answer to the coming crisis. If we, as the world's population, formed a clear view of our own best interests and the interests of the planet, disaster could be, and would be, avoided. The conditions which currently make it inevitable would not be tolerated.

"The world won't have the will, or the means, to act in its own best interests until we as individuals decide that it must. The first step we can take is to increase our understanding and awareness of the threats we face. It is understanding and awareness of the world's best interests which lie at the heart of this book." Rt Hon David Lange, New Zealand Prime Minister 1984-89. Soft cover, 472 pages. Published in 2001.


I Remember Hiroshima by Stephen Kelen. ISBN 0868061034. Published by Hale&Iremonger. Recommended retail price $10.

In 1946 Stephen Kelen, an Australian soldier, author, playwright and journalist, was posted to Japan as a member of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. In Japan he transferred from Intelligence to become a feature writer on the British Commonwealth Occupation News. He spent more than three years in and around Hiroshima writing about and photographing the devastation surrounding him. He spoke to many of the survivors – to a priest who had tended the wounded in the immediate aftermath of the explosion; to a bookseller who had capitalized upon misfortune and sold twisted mementos of the blast; to a clerk whose arm had been exposed to the flash and was useless but who now made his living selling fire insurance amidst burnt-out buildings; to the child, widely known as the ‘flash bang baby’, who had been born within an hour of the explosion.

But perhaps most importantly, Kelen attended the first Hiroshima Peace Festival in 1946, a festival that has since become an annual event. He was struck by the absence of animosity, the upsurge of rejoicing, the spontaneous acceptance of himself, not as a representative of the enemy, but as a fellow human being. Today, more than 40 years later, Stephen Kelen remembers Hiroshima in moving and poignant detail. His story is accompanied by the unique collection of photographs he took that vividly recapture the havoc, the slow rebuilding of the city, and the subsequent Peace Festivals.

Born in Hungary in 1912, Stephen Kelen has been an Australian for more than 40 years, active as an author, playwright, journalist and sportsman (he has won several world and international table tennis championships). During World War II he volunteered and served in the Australian Army in New Guinea, the Halmaheras, North Borneo and as a member of the occupation forces in Japan. His articles on Hiroshima were published by leading newspapers and magazines in Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon and England. One of his novels, Freedom is a Rainbow, was a prize winner in a United Nations contest in New York. After the war he worked as an editor and writer. His radio dramas and features have been broadcast by the ABC, the BBC and radio stations in Switzerland, Germany, Holland and France.

Since 1975 Stephen Kelen has been President of International PEN Sydney Centre and has represented Australian writers at International PEN Congresses. Soft cover, 79 pages. Published in 1983.


Spectacular Australian Sea Rescues by Liz Byrski. Published by New Holland Publishers. ISBN 1-86436-301-0. Recommended retail price $12.95.

The imagination of all Australians was captured by the dramatic rescues of Raphael Dinelli, Tony Bullimore and Thierry Dubois during the 1996-97 Vendee Globe Challenge. But, as Spectacular Australian Sea Rescues shows, these were not the first awe-inpsiring sea rescues to take place in Australian waters. With more than 36,000 kilometres of coastline to patrol, Australia's search and rescue personnel are responsible for rescue operations over 11% of the earth's surface - no wonder Australian waters are often the stage for such extraordinary real-life drama.

Spectacular Australian Sea Rescues focuses on 12 of the most incredible sea resuces in Australian waters over the past 50 years. These stories of heartbreak and survival cover a diverse range of incidents - from the miraculous plucking of lone yachtsmen and women from seething ocean, to the perilous recovery of crew from a burning oil-tanker, and even the bizarre rescue of hot-air balloonists from the Coral Sea - accompanied by graphic photographs and maps pinpointing the location of the rescues.

Spectacular Australian Sea Rescues also celebrates the heroism of Australia's emergency servcies personnel, giving an insight into the resule facilities at hand in Australian waters.

Liz Byrski is an award-winning freelance writer, journalist and broadcaster based in Western Australia. She has written numerous feature articles for national magazines and newspapers, as well as writing and contributing to travel guides, community booklets and a number of books on social issues. Most recently she has worked as an executive producer and broadcaster with the ABC in Perth. Soft cover, 211 pages. Published in 1997.


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