This award-winning biography is a long overdue reassessment of the iconic Australian war correspondent
'The book I have enjoyed most in recent times has been Ross Coulthart's on the great war correspondent Charles Bean' - Peter FitzSimons, Sun Herald 'Fascinating biography ... strongly recommend it'
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull via Twitter
Charles Bean's wartime reports and photographs mythologised the Australian soldier and helped spawn the notion that the Anzacs achieved something nation-defining on the shores of Gallipoli and the battlefields of western Europe. In his quest to get the truth, Bean often faced death beside the Diggers in the trenches of Gallipoli and the Western Front - and saw more combat than many. But did Bean tell Australia the whole story of what he knew? In this timely new biography, Ross Coulthart investigates the untold story behind Bean's jouralistic dilemma - his struggle to tell Australia the truth but also the pressure he felt to support the war and boost morale at home by suppressing what he'd seen.
'[Bean] had an obsession with recording the truth and Coulthart has lived up to his legacy in this superb biography' - Tim Hilferty, Adelaide Advertiser
'This is among the best biographies of an Australian historian available, fittingly released during the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the events Bean meticulously recorded.' - Justin Cahill, Booktopiablog
The Australian Federal police have identified motorcycle gangs as the greatest organised crime threat in Australia - more potentially harmful to the community than any terrorist cell. This book tells the bloody story of the criminal involvement of the feared Bandidos gang - and how one man broke their code and turned informant.
'We are the people our parents warned us about' is the motto of the Bandidos, one of the world's most feared outlaw motorcycle gangs. For 10 years, Steve Utah was a Bandidos insider, a trusted confidante of senior bike gang members along the east coast of Australia. He arranged the security of their clubhouses and electronic surveillance and counter surveillance. He 'cooked' ecstasy and ice for them. He witnessed meetings in which interstate and overseas drug and weapons smuggling was planned.
Utah loved the wildness of the Bandido life and their contempt for the law, but as he was gradually goaded into increasingly serious crimes as a test of his loyalty to the gang, his life started to spiral out of control. He witnessed vicious beatings, helped dump corpses, knew about the theft of rocket launchers and machine guns. He saw men executed in front of him.
It all became too much and, in an attempt to regain control of his life, Utah resorted to the unthinkable: he rolled over to the federal Police and told them all he knew about the Bandidos. He had intimate knowledge of every facet of their business in Australia and many aspects of their activities in North America. So trusted had he become that he could point Police to those complicit in three murders. He literally knew where the bodies were buried.
This shocking, unflinching, tragic story is Steve Utah's confession. He knows he is a dead man running - that inevitably the Bandido code will be honoured and he will be silenced. But not before Utah gets his chance to wake Australians to the looming threat in their midst - the relentless rise of sophisticated organised crime networks inside outlaw motorcycle gangs and the apparent inability of the Police and legal system to deal with it.