Review: The Premiers Joey and Frank, Bill Rowe

Rating: 4 out of 5

Another one of the Bill Rowe personal histories, this was an enchanting piece describing the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s in NL as well as anyone could hope to read. Of course, this comes with the caveat that personal memories are bound to be bent and impartial — I would not recommend this in that context in any way. 

It was a joy for me, however, to read what the person of Joey Smallwood was like — and how this matched up with what I have seen in other works. The old giant really seems to have been a towering figure, and the way he operates comes through very nicely in Mr Rowe’s history.

The same could be said about Frank Moores, but it is even more interesting as very little of what’s published here can be accessed otherwise as part of public encyclopaedias (based on a few quick searches I undertook). This is to mean, for me, that really this personal angle that the author displays is very useful in trying to get a sense of what life might have been like under Premier Moore.

As such, this is a perfect work if one remembers the partial nature of it and can read a work without believing that politics needs to be serious. It doesn’t, and it rarely is — these memoirs highlight the fun part of it.

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