Home » August 2017 »Regular Features » Currently Reading:

Book review – Breaking ranks

August 7, 2017 August 2017, Regular Features No Comments

Book review

Breaking Ranks is James McNeish’s final book, the manuscript being completed shortly before he died. This is an unusual book as it has three distinct stories, each of a New Zealander of a different time in the twentieth century. The connection being that each stuck out for what the believed to be right regardless of the considerable political and bureaucratic powers lined up against them.

The first is of Dr John Saxby who revolutionised New Zealand psychiatry. In the 1930s he set about transforming the psychiatric hospital he was given charge of introducing humane and world class mental health treatments.

Brigadier Reginald Miles was a highly regarded soldier in the early North African campaign. In 1941 his men were ordered to defend a rear guard action against an overwhelming German force. Against orders he left his command post to go forward to fight, and probably die, with his outnumbered men.

Justice Peter Mahon was chosen by P.M. Muldoon to head the Erebus inquiry, Muldoon having been assured that he would be a soft judge who would do as requested and not delve too far into the facts. Muldoon had been poorly advised and Justice Mahon’s report is now famous for his ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’ statement.

In each case the men were hounded by their superiors who were intent in keeping their systems and own situations intact. As a result in each case the man were eventually destroyed.

As can be expected of James McNeish a fascinating, well researched and well written book. This is obviously not light reading, but is interesting and certainly thought provoking. A well worth while read.

Mike Beckett

Comment on this Article:

Follow us on:

Latest Tweets

  • All your latest news is now online
    4 years ago
  • Remember advertising is due this Friday for the September issue of the Star
    4 years ago
  • August issue off the press and in my hot little hands, and online now for your reading pleasure.
    5 years ago

Sports

MARTINBOROUGH GOLF

Two down and one to go, we are on the home straight with the season of Winter and for the first time in many years the dams and tanks are fill and the water tables have well and truly reached above the ground. you guessed, we’re ready for Spring! The …

Junior sport

The Martinborough Micros and Magic  hockey teams.

We hope you all enjoyed a well-earned break over the school holidays as we head into the second half of the hockey season with all the flooding and snow hopefully behind us. The new Tuesday 6-aside format seems to be working well, with a huge number of teams from all …

Golf Club news

The wet weather has been a godsend even though there has been a lapse in actually playing the game. The greens have benefited the most by far and the recovery process is ahead of schedule. The bonus too that no one has had to lose sleep over the water allocation consent. There …

Regular Features

Waihinga Centre

Open to Change If you are just walking or driving past the Town Hall it …

News from First Church

We are pleased we decided to hold our weekly meetings during July and August in …

Wharekaka News

Hello from Wharekaka, Now with the shortest day behind us. We look forward to the …

COMMUNITY BOARD UPDATE

Our Community Board, which is YOUR Community Board, has been busy as usual. Here is …

Know your town

The John Martin Family John Martin arrived at Wellington along with nineteen family members on …

Book review – Breaking ranks

Breaking Ranks is James McNeish’s final book, the manuscript being completed shortly before he died. …

Country Dog City Dog

Recent Comments