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  • Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation

  • Journeys in Bougainville (Pacific Series)
  • By: Gordon Peake
  • Narrated by: Gordon Peake
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation

By: Gordon Peake
Narrated by: Gordon Peake
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Publisher's Summary

In 2016, Gordon Peake answers a job advertisement for a role with the government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a collection of islands on the eastern fringe of Papua New Guinea looking to strike out as a country of its own. In his day job he sees at first hand the challenges of trying to stand up new government systems. Away from the office he travels with former rebels, follows an anthropologist’s ghost and visits landmarks from the region’s conflict. In 2019, he witnesses joy and euphoria as the people of Bougainville vote in a referendum on their future. Out of these encounters emerges an unforgettable portrait of this potential nation-in-waiting. 

Blending narrative history, travelogue, and personal reminiscences, Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation is an engaging memoir as well as an insightful meditation on the realities of nation-making and international development. 

"Heartfelt and honest. This book is an insightful read and a valuable addition to scholarship on Bougainville’s journey to peace." (Joseph Nobetau, former Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government) 

"An excellent piece of engaged travel writing. With first-hand observation and curiosity, Gordon has produced a deeply informed, compelling and evocative account of war, survival and nation-building in what may become the world’s newest country." (Tom Bamforth, author of The Rising Tide: Among the Islands and Atolls of the Pacific Ocean)

©2022 ANU Press (P)2023 Gordon Peake

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Great insight into life as an advisor

Peake's book is insightful, funny and sober. Excellently read and some great portraits of interesting characters in Bougainville

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insightful journey into Pacific

Excellent narration, very easy to listen to. Gordon takes you behind the curtain of governance aid in the Pacific, but in a vivid and entertaining way. Important listening for anyone working on foreign affairs, in development, or just those with a keen interest in how Australia engages with the Pacific islands beyond the news headlines.

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  • Edward Rees
  • 12-02-2023

Wonderful

Found this book a wonderful little gem that weaves so much into so few words. Words well crafted and at times profoundly poignant. Anyone with an interest in overseas aid, travel, and the story of Bougainville should read and or listen to it. Wonderful.

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