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Dick Hamer

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'Chronicles how Hamer decriminalised homosexuality, abolished capital punishment, championed equal opportunity, gave Melbourne an arts hub -- all done with courtesy and integrity. A true liberal.' Best Books of 2014--Simon Hughes "Australian Financial Review " '[O]ne of the most compelling books on Australian politics I have read. The narrative is strong and the prose is fluent. The book makes me realise how, in writing the modern history of the nation, we too often focus on federal politics, forgetting that most of the political decisions that shaped human lives were made far from Canberra.' --Geoffrey Blainey "Australian Book Review " 'Dick Hamer was ahead of his time. He was implementing the so-called 'Third Way' well before the Hawke and Keating governments, and certainly ahead of the author of the 'Third Way' itself, Tony Blair--Steve Bracks AC, premier of Victoria 1999-2007 'Tim Colebatch has written a fascinating account of one of Australia's most remarkable post-war leaders. Dick Hamer is the forgotten reformer of the 1970s. As effective as Gough Whitlam in his pomp, and more popular than Don Dunstan in his prime, he restored Victoria's position as the nation's pre-eminent progressive state.' --George Megalogenis 'This political biography stands up there with the best that come out of the United States and Britain ... The research and detail are outstanding ... This is no hagiography, but a critical analysis of politics and the people that brought it to life ... There's a lot in this biography that explains what is wrong with Australian politics today.' --John Cain, premier of Victoria 1982-1990 'Colebatch's Hamer delivers its share of criticism, but it is a magnificent biography of a man who deserves to be remembered by Australians of all political persuasions.' --Nick Goldie 'In a strong field of recent political biographies and memoirs, this first published biography of Dick Hamer is a most welcome addition ... Colebatch has done an excellent job.' --Ross Fitzgerald "Weekend Australian " 'Dick (Sir Rupert) Hamer served his country, his state and his community. He did so with strength, with grace and with calm. His achievements as Premier and Minister in Victoria remain at the heart of what makes our State amongst the more liveable in the world ... Tim Colebatch has brought together the headlines of the time and the detailed insights of someone who was there at the time -- observing, writing, analysing, recording, questioning and critiquing. It's a great story -- really well told. We can all be ever grateful for Dick Hamer's remarkable legacy and grateful too for Tim Colebatch's passionate record of how 'Hamer made it happen'! --Ted Baillieu, premier of Victoria 2010-2013 "Dick Hamer was ahead of his time. He was implementing the so-called 'Third Way' well before the Hawke and Keating governments, and certainly ahead of the author of the Third Way itself, Tony Blair. At a time, in 1972, when Australia was clamouring for change, Dick Hamer had already developed environmental, equal-opportunity, and arts policies that threw off years of social conservatism under his predecessor. More than that, he took the Victorian ALP's clothes. No longer was there a need to change parties to change the government. It would take another decade for Labor to finally gain government in Victoria. Dick Hamer also embodied democracy with great decency, openness, and a genuine commitment not seen today. We should be grateful to Tim Colebatch for this biography. His account says as much about Victoria as it does about the Hamer government. He is right to assert that, apart from the Kennett years, all subsequent Labor and Liberal governments have governed in the same direction. May it ever be thus." --Steve Bracks AC, premier of Victoria 1999-2007

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