Since 1901, thirty different leaders have run the national show. Whether their term was eight days or eighteen years, each prime minister has a story worth sharing.
Edmund Barton united the bickering states in a federation. The unlucky Jimmy Scullin took office days before Wall Street crashed into the Great Depression. John Curtin faced the ultimate challenge of wartime leadership. John Gorton, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating each shook up their parties’ policies so vigorously that none lasted much longer than a single term. Harold Holt spent three decades in parliament, only to disappear while swimming off the coast of Victoria just under two years into his first term. John Howard’s “triple bypass” is the stuff of legend. Julia Gillard overthrew Kevin Rudd and Kevin Rudd overthrew Julia Gillard, thus paving the way for Tony Abbott, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull – until he too was toppled, this time by Scott Morrison.
With characteristic wit and expert knowledge, Mungo MacCallum brings the nation’s leaders to life in this updated edition of a classic book.