Morrison of Peking Reply

Book Review

The Man Who Died Twice
The life and adventures of Morrison of Peking
By Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin
Allen and Unwin, 380 pp, $32.95

Morrison of Peking became a model for Australian correspondents abroad. He was brave, handsome, resourceful and ultimately a celebrity. But there was more to Morrison than media hype. Like many other heroes of Victorian era journalism, he was also a racist, an agent of colonialism and quite possibly a British spy.

Through his influential reporting, George Morrison helped shape British and Australian views of what he described as an exotic and dangerous “Orient”. Morrison was the first eminent Australian journalist in Asia, whose personality sometimes seemed bigger news than the stories he covered. If he lived today, he might be offered a job on Sixty Minutes.