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The Fatal Impact (1966)

af Alan Moorehead

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
398448,230 (4.11)5
As a movie actress Lucille Ball was, in her own words, "queen of the B-pluses." But on the small screen she was a superstar-arguably the funniest and most enduring in the history of TV. In this exemplary biography, Stefan Kanfer explores the roots of Lucy's genius and places it in the context of her conflicted and sometimes bitter personal life. Ball of Fire gives us Lucy in all her contradictions. Here is the beauty who became a master of knock-down slapstick; the control freak whose comic alter ego thrived on chaos, the worshipful TV housewife whose real marriage ended in public disaster. Here, too, is an intimate view of the dawn of television and of the America that embraced it. Charming, informative, touching. and laugh-out-loud funny, this is the book Lucy's fans have been waiting for. "From the Trade Paperback edition."… (mere)
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Moorehead has followed up his fascinating trek into Africa (The Blue Nile & The White Nile), with a short, but equally elegant "account of the invasion of the South Pacific, 1761-1840." The hero here, of course, is Captain James Cook, with Moorehead concentrating on the voyage to Tahiti, New Zealand & Australia, & the later exploration of the Antarctic Circle & the South Pole. As acknowledged, he's drawn heavily on the historian J.C. Beaglehole's definitive volumes, as well as from other weighty sources. But this should not dismay the layman. He has the novelist's eye, not only in his firm but sensuous descriptions, but also in his stunning ability to evoke character, interweave various tales, & see a Jumble of facts & conjectures as a means of releasing whatever dramatic moments are around. The confrontation between aggressive Europeans & innocent primitive tribes affords ample opportunity. The book is a requiem for an idyllic past, moving in its picture of a wild civilization slowly eroding under the impact of commercial progress or geographical expansion, exciting in its interplay of differing psychological attitudes or customs, & developed with many crisscrossing references: Bougainville & Banks, Melville & Gauguin, the Bounty mutiny & the little known efforts of the Englishwoman Daisy Bates to save the Aborigines. A lovely, sophisticated work.
  Alhickey1 | Oct 15, 2020 |
I read a 1987 expanded edition of the original book published in 1966. This later edition is lavishly illustrated to coincide with the text Moorehead wrote. I think I read every single word of the captions to the illustrations, paintings and add-ins as well as every word of the book itself. Don't laugh. Non-fiction books can get tedious. Not this one.

The author is a skilled writer in bringing together various memoirs and events to show the effects of European exploration and contact in the Pacific Ocean, focusing in three parts on Tahiti, Australia and Antarctica. Primarily built around Captain Cook's three voyages. So much was recorded and collected and this book brought it forward in time. I knew bits of this but I found the narrative completely engrossing. Journeys of discovery and the end of the world that was.

As sad as it is for the indigenous peoples of Tahiti and Australia the worst world devastation to come was because of Cook's exploration of the Antarctic region. He found countless millions of seals, sea lions, penguins, sea birds, whales and other creatures living in a balance with their world. When he returned from his trip the whalers and others of the world set out from England and La Havre and Nantucket and elsewhere to kill and destroy relentlessly. It is sickening. ( )
  RBeffa | Oct 9, 2020 |
A wonderfully written book that is both clear headed and compassionate about the impact on indigenous peoples caused by the arrival of technologically advanced cultures. I love Moorehead's prose. He tells stories wonderfully well including a tangential one here of Eyre's epic track across the Great Bight and his fortuitous meeting with the ship of Captain Rossiter. ( )
  jefffromclapham110 | Jan 12, 2014 |
An enlightening and depressing look at the inevitable collision between an expansionist, exploring Europe and a static South Pacific, and the multiple tragedies that occured. ( )
1 stem BruceCoulson | Dec 30, 2013 |
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As a movie actress Lucille Ball was, in her own words, "queen of the B-pluses." But on the small screen she was a superstar-arguably the funniest and most enduring in the history of TV. In this exemplary biography, Stefan Kanfer explores the roots of Lucy's genius and places it in the context of her conflicted and sometimes bitter personal life. Ball of Fire gives us Lucy in all her contradictions. Here is the beauty who became a master of knock-down slapstick; the control freak whose comic alter ego thrived on chaos, the worshipful TV housewife whose real marriage ended in public disaster. Here, too, is an intimate view of the dawn of television and of the America that embraced it. Charming, informative, touching. and laugh-out-loud funny, this is the book Lucy's fans have been waiting for. "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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