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Light and Shadow : Memoirs of a Spy's Son - Mark Colvin

Light and Shadow

Memoirs of a Spy's Son

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Mark Colvin is a broadcasting legend. He is the voice of ABC Radio's leading current affairs program PM.

He was a founding broadcaster for the groundbreaking youth station Double J; he initiated The World Today program; and he's one of the most popular and influential journalists in the twittersphere. Mark has been covering local and global events for more than four decades. He has reported on wars, royal weddings and everything in between. In the midst of all this he discovered that his father was an MI6 spy. Light and Shadow is the incredible story of a father waging a secret war against communism during the Cold War, while his son comes of age as a journalist during the tumultuous Whitlam and Fraser years and embarks on the risky career of a foreign correspondent.

Mark was witness to some of the most world-changing events, including the Iranian hostage crisis, the buildup to the first Gulf War in Iraq and the direct aftermath of the shocking genocide in Rwanda. But when he contracted a life-threatening illness while working in the field, his life changed forever. Mark Colvin's engrossing memoir takes you inside the coverage of major news events and gently navigates the complexity of his father's double life."

About the Author

Mark Colvin joined the ABC as a cadet journalist. He then spent three years as a founding member of Australia's first youth station, 2JJ (now Triple-J), before a two-year stint as a news producer and current affairs reporter. He was London and European correspondent for the ABC for most of the 80s and 90s before joining Four Corners for five years before returning to London.

He returned to Australia as presenter of PM in 1997, a job he has continued to do despite three years on dialysis and a successful kidney transplant. Since 2009, he has gradually built himself as one of the best-known journalistic names on Twitter, which he uses as a conversation, a way to find and double-check stories, and a source of amusement.


Warm and wonderful read


I always enjoyed Mark Colvin on the media for decades and I accidentally met him 20 years ago. Warm and endearing man a great read.



Engaging, funny, captivating read


Mark Colvin is a gifted writer



Great read, very well written


Great book




I really enjoyed this; Mark successfully integrated his own experiences as a journalist with personal anecdotes and stories from his family history. He is incredibly well travelled and doesn't just visit but gets himself dirty in some of these places. Of course, history will show that these situations were not to Mark's benefit in terms of his overall health. He seems to treat this however as an occupational hazard; getting the truth out is clearly more important to him and he was obviously an outstanding success. It is so well written and you are taken on a terrific journey. This book is a lovely legacy for Mark to have left us.

Sydney, NSW


Intelligently written, fascinating material


Great for a male family member



Very Interesting Book


I learned a lot about the political situations that I grew up through, but didn't take enough notice of. Very informative. Mark Colvin is an excellent journalist - one of my favourites. Highly recommended.




4.7 6


ISBN: 9780522870893
ISBN-10: 0522870899
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 277
Published: 20th January 2017
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.45