But Cannon, the child and grandchild of important figures in Australian independent journalism, developed a fascination with print media early in his life and had a long and colourful career in printing, publishing and editing books, newspapers and magazines.
In Cannon Fire he brings to life many notable personalities with whom he worked, including Keith and Rupert Murdoch, and recreates the ink-stained, cigarette-smoke-filled and always well-lubricated worlds of publishing across Melbourne and Sydney in the second half of the twentieth century.
More than this, Cannon’s intimate account of a life that began in the 1920s fascinates as both a personal story of unusual courage in the face of challenge and heartache, and as a tale of times now passing from memory.
Michael Cannon was the founding editor of Historical Records of Victoria and an award-winning journalist, newspaper editor and historian. He wrote and edited more than thirty books, including bestseller The Land Boomers, which caused a sensation in Australia in the 1960s.
Michael died peacefully on 24 February 2022. His one regret was to not see this book published, although the thought kept him going for quite a while. He rests in the tranquil Foster Cemetery, Gippsland, near his beloved Fernhyll.
Sarah Cannon is the daughter of Michael Cannon. She has been in the book trade for more than 30 years. While she tried not to follow in the footsteps of her parents – both journalists, editors and writers – the power and love of books became too hard to resist.
Sarah has previously worked as bookshop manager, Senior Marketing Manager at Cambridge University Press, and has been with Monash University Publishing for 17 years, since its inception. Sarah was on the Board of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize (last awarded in 2008) and is now on the Board of the Small Press Network.
“Cannon Fire is highly recommended for those interested in Australian history and the media from a driven journalist and prolific author’s perspective. Michael Cannon is almost painfully honest in his recollections of his long life which encompassed so many highs and some setbacks. A skilled raconteur, Michael recreates for us a life of influence and details his dealings with our media moguls, politicians and the bureaucracy. It is quite a story.” – Ranald MacDonald
Image: Cannon Fire: A Life in Print – courtesy of Melbourne University Publishing