Fred Hollows : an autobiography

Posted on 6 May 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

I’ve heard a lot about Fred Hollows over the years. He’d led an amazing life and done a lot of incredibly good work, if I do a fraction of his good work I could be happy with myself. Recalling all of this I picked up this autobiography written by himself with Peter Corris with tremendous excitement. I wanted to find out more about the man himself and what led him to do the things he did. The excitement faded as I read the book.

There’s a lot of facts and information about his life and a number of times we get told about his temper and how he spoke out, but we never get shown it. We do get told about his upbringing and his education and also what lead him to specialise in eyes. To me, though, it feels like a history book. All facts and no emotion, nothing to lead me to the man behind the story.

One of the projects he lead was to look at the health of the eyes of the Aboriginal communities across Australia. As a part of this project he and his teams wrote out copious notes about each person. An example of the paperwork was presented in the book with identifying features blacked out. It was tremendously detailed and was then and will be a fabulous resource in the future. It set the benchmark for any future projects. Unfortunately, the book was exactly like the paperwork for this project. Very clinical, very factual and not very emotional.

I would still recommend it as it is written well and does have a lot of information. It would be good reference material.

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