Julia Hancock introduced author Alex Mitchell at the local launch of his Come the Revolution: A memoir in Murwillumbah.
Julia Hancock introduced author Alex Mitchell at the local launch of his Come the Revolution: A memoir in Murwillumbah. Contributed

A world-changing journey

ALEX Mitchell proudly states that he "borrowed" the title of his book Come the Revolution: A memoir from one of the great larrikins in our country's history, legendary Sydney Domain soap-box spruiker John Auburn Webster.

Webster was one of those speakers who stood head and shoulders above the rest of the intellectuals, loudmouths and just plain crazies who voiced their opinions to all and sundry during the halcyon days of public speaking in the Domain over several decades following World War II.

He was described as "worldly and knowledgeable, extremely literate and articulate and candidly vocal, his sardonic humour and his spur of the moment interaction with hecklers and debaters made him a popular orator".

In the same vein Mr Mitchell's speech mesmerised the 100 or so people who attended the launch of his book at Murwillumbah Services Memorial Club on Friday night.

A legend in media circles for more than five decades, Mr Mitchell has resided at Condong for the past few years with his wife, Judith White, and was introduced to those present by local identity Julia Hancock, who is no slouch in the oratory caper.

Mr Mitchell, as they say, "has lived a life".

Come the Revolution: A memoir covers his life in journalism and politics from his days as a 14-year-old cadet on the Mt Isa Mail through to 1986 with stops along the way in Sydney, Canberra, London and a host of other countries.

Sharing parts of that wonderful journey were giants of history - the likes of great beauty and actress Vanessa Redgrave, Soviet double-agent Kim Philby, Muammar Gaddafi, Idi Amin, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein, Gough Whitlam and Rupert Murdoch.

The book offers an insider's account of media and politics - it is a book which is compelling, exciting and rich with insights.

There is no space on these pages to elaborate on Mr Mitchell's interesting and on many occasions, action-packed life - however he does that admirably in his book.

Two other, well, legends of political journalism, Laurie Oakes and Phllip Knightley AM, were given sneak previews of the book

"Come the Revolution got me excited about journalism all over again," said Oakes, a man not renowned for getting excited.

"A gripping account of a young Australian journalist's adventures in intrigue-ridden London as he fights to change the world," said Knightly.

Alex Mitchell still fights to change the world - as he recounted to his enraptured audience on Friday night.

Mr Mitchell will have another book launch at Boardwalk Books, Marine Pde, Kingscliff, tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 6pm.

Published by NewSouth Books, Come the Revolution: A memoir is on sale in all good book stores.



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