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The Premiers of Victoria

New or Used: 3 copies from $66.75
In the century and a half since Victoria was granted responsible government in 1856, 44 premiers have presided over the state and colony, from Honest William Haines to Steve Bracks. Here is their story. For the first time this book brings together a comprehensive collection of biographical and political portraits of the Victorian premiers written by leading Australian historians and political scientists. The result is a compelling journey through a turbulent, occasionally anarchic, political landscape. A cast of fascinating characters is brought to life by the mercurial Graham Berry, who in the 1870s threatened broken heads and flaming houses in his heroic struggle to tame the colonys intractably conservative upper house; the roguish Tommy Bent, the turn of the century aEucan do premier whose development enthusiasms were unhindered by probities of office; the bohemian Tom Hollway, who conducted Victoria's affairs from his suite in the Windsor Hotel; the accidental leader Henry Bolte, who became Victoria's longest serving premier; and the larrikin metropolitan, Jeff Kennett, who turned the state into a neo-liberal laboratory in the 1990s. A tale of premiers, the book is also a narrative of politics in a state that has vied with New South Wales as Australia's most prosperous and powerful. It recounts many extraordinary episodes: the precocious development of democracy in a fledgling colony turned upside down by gold immigrants; the titanic bicameral struggles of the 1860s and 1870s that brought Victoria to the brink of insurrection; the bank crashes of the 1890s; the police strike of 1923; the great Labor split of the 1950s; the hanging of Ronald Ryan in 1967; the social democratic adventurism of the Labor decade of the 1980s brought to a shuddering halt by another era of financial collapses; and the neo-liberal experimentalism of the Kennett government. This carefully researched and engagingly written book will leave the reader in no doubt that politics in the Garden State has seldom been sedate and its premiers rarely predictable.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction: Premiers and politics, 1856-2006 Paul Strangio and Brian Costar Haines, O'Shanassy, Nicholson and Heales: The old guard, 1855-1863 John Waugh "The inevitable McCulloch" and his rivals, 1863-1877 John Waugh Broken heads and flaming houses: Graham Berry, the wild colonial Paul Strangio Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Service and Gillies: The grand coalition premiers 1883-1890 John Lack David Syme and the three stooges? The bust premiers: James Munro, William Shiels and JB Patterson, 1890-1894 John Lack The quiet little man in a brown suit: George Turner and the politics of consensus John Rickard "Iceberg" Irvine and the politics of anti-Labor John Rickard Tommy Bent, `a man' Weston Bate John Murray and William Watt: The odd couple David Dunstan Alexander Peacock: The laughing pragmatist John Chesterman Harry Lawson, sure and steady Margaret Fitzherbert Elmslie, Prendergast and Hogan: Labouring against the tide Peter Love John Allan: The first agrarian Brian Costar William McPherson, `threepenny' premier and philanthropist Richard Allsop Stanley Argyle: The incidental premier Geoff Browne Albert Dunstan: The jumping jack premier Brian Costar Tom Hollway: The bohemian Brian Costar John McDonald: A remorseful premier Brian Costar John Cain snr: The star-crossed premier Paul Strangio Henry Bolte: The lucky developer David Dunstan Rupert `Dick' Hamer: The urbane liberal Paul Rodan Lindsay Thompson: The team player Vicki Peel John Cain jnr: The burden of history Paul Strangio Joan Kirner: The first feminist Jennifer Curtin Jeff Kennett: The larrikin metropolitan Nick Economou Steve Bracks: The quiet achiever David Hayward Index

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