This is an important and timely book from a mature, perspicacious voice. Phyllis Perlstone shows us a Monash behind the image on the $100 bank note: the engineer, innovator, man-about-town, husband, father, warrior, tactician; his love affairs and vanities; the prejudice he encounters and regards as ‘strange dislike’. Monash’s life and Australia’s times start up from within the lines of poetry, dealing with brilliant but conflicted events and ideals. The poems move back and forth in time to regard the past and its values with a present perspective.
Perlstone’s impartial authorial eye and her distinctive sprung language makes this work of culture, history and biography fresh, complex and meaningful. A triumph of a book: singularly light of touch, concrete in its descriptions and a humane treatise on ambition, xenophobia, modern engineering and the new warfare
—Anna Kerdijk Nicholson