By Greg Growden
Jack Fingleton is one of Australian cricket's most important and intriguing characters. In John Arlott's words: 'He is himself?and a diverse himself it is.'Fingleton was an outstanding opening batsman with a reputation for fearlessness against the most hostile and dangerous opening attacks. He faced up to England's feared 'Bodyline' bowlers, and became the first batsman in history to score four successive Test centuries.Later he gained a reputation as possibly Australia's greatest cricket writer, with his work syndicated throughout Australia and overseas. He also moved in the corridors of power as a political journalist, and was on intimate terms with several prime ministers. He was the author of a number of authoritative books, including Cricket Crisis and Brightly Fades the Don.Fingleton led a varied and at times turbulent life. Married to the daughter of noted feminist Jessie Street, over several decades he was involved in an on-again, off-again feud with one-time teammate Sir Donald Bradman. Greg Growden's access to previously unpublished correspondence has helped him shed new light on their relationship, and on the rich life of a witty, evocative, complex and altogether unforgettable Australian.