REVIEW: Pacific insights into the Rainbow Warrior legacy

  • Michael Sergel
Keywords: Eyes of Fire, France, geopolitics, New Zealand, nuclear weapons, nuclear-free Pacific, Rainbow Warrior, reviews


Sergel, Michael. (2015). Pacific insights into the Rainbow Warrior legacy. Pacific Journalism Review, 21(2): 189-191. Review of Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, by David Robie. [30th Anniversary Ed.] Auckland: Little Island Press, 2015, 194 pp. ISBN 978-1-877484-28-5

The 1985 bombing of the Rainbow Warrior is often remembered as the deadly consequence of a small Pacific nation taking a defiant stance against nuclear testing by major powers. Thirty years on, the updated edition of David Robie’s Eyes of Fire moves beyond the David and Goliath narrative that puts New Zealand at the centre of the story. Prime Minister David Lange called the bombing a ‘sordid act of international statebacked terrorism’ and an ‘unprecedented affront to sovereignty’ (p. 128). Months earlier, he had defended New Zealand’s anti-nuclear position at the Oxford Union. Years later, he said the lack of international support had only strenthened the country’s resolve (Young, 2005). But Robie reminds us the bombing was far more than a key date on New Zealand’s political timeline. The former British fishing trawler had been part of missions to stop whalers, sealers and nuclear warships in Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, the United States and Peru. It had even been at the centre of a diplomatic Cold War clash during a visit to Siberia.

Eyes Of Fire: 30 Years On Little Island Press microsite about the book


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How to Cite
Sergel, M. (2015). REVIEW: Pacific insights into the Rainbow Warrior legacy. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 21(2), 189-191.