Edward Gough Whitlam was one of the most momentous figures in Australian political history. Born into a privileged life that should have seen him on the side with the 'born-to-rule gang,' Whitlam took a different path and joined the Australian Labor Party. Although he was branded as a 'silver tail' (one who is considered wealthy, usually by inherited money) by the rough and ready men of Labor, Whitlam fought to convince Labor that they were something more than just the political arm of the union movement, and that principle without power was an exercise in futility. He overcame party resistance and, in 1972, led Labor triumphantly into the government benches, where he became Parliamentary leader. However, the pace of change scared too many people and sudden developments in the world economic environment brought challenges Whitlam could not overcome. Nor could he overcome the local political challenges thrown down by the conservative forces, once they had recovered from the shock of the 1972 election results. Whitlam held them at bay when they forced him to the electors 18 months ahead of schedule in mid-1974. Although he won the election with a reduced majority, he and his colleagues seemed determined to continue providing the opposition with the ammunition needed to shoot him down, and on November 11, 1975, they finally did. This book recaptures the excitement of one of the most contentious and momentous events in Australian political history.
Publication Date: 5/21/2011