The warm, fascinating memoir of one of Australia’s most popular and prominent public figures General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) is one of Australia’s most significant public figures. As a soldier he saw action in Vietnam, winning the Military Cross, and rose to the very top of his profession, becoming Chief of the Defence Force. Soon after his retirement from the Army, he was invited to take charge of the huge relief and rebuilding operation in Queensland after the devastation of Cyclone Larry.
In 2014, Cosgrove became Australia’s Governor-General. As Governor-General he travelled far and wide, supporting Australians in times of crisis, sadness, joy or celebration, representing us on the world stage with humour, intelligence and a force of personal magnetism that was felt by everyone from prime ministers to presidents.
When he retired in July 2019, it was as one of the most beloved and respected governors-general in Australia’s history. Cosgrove embodies the traits we truly value: warmth, humanity, toughness and loyalty. His humour and empathy shone through the pomp and ceremony, and his time as Governor-General will be remembered as much for his laughter as for the usual dignities of the office.
You Shouldn’t Have Joined … (an expression much used during his days as a soldier) is the story of Cosgrove’s extraordinarily full and eventful life. It is also the story of those who have shared it with him, in particular his wife Lynne.
His memoir allows us an incredible insight into the role and world of Australia’s Governor-General. He was there as two prime ministers were toppled by their own party. He was there through disasters both natural and man-made, such as the destruction of MH17. He was there for world leaders, and for ordinary Australians. You Shouldn’t Have Joined … is a true reflection of the man himself, filled with intelligence, forthrightness, compassion and a brilliant eye for a telling anecdote.