In this landmark book, Stuart Macintyre explains how a country traumatized by World War I, hammered by the Depression and overstretched by World War II became a prosperous, successful and growing society by the 1950s. An extraordinary group of individuals, notably John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Nugget Coombs, John Dedman and Robert Menzies, remade the country, planning its reconstruction against a background of wartime sacrifice and austerity. This book shows the 1940s to be a pivotal decade in Australia. At the height of his powers, Macintyre reminds us that key components of the society we take for granted – work, welfare, health, education, immigration, housing – are not the result of military endeavor but policy, planning, politics and popular resolve.
About the Author
Stuart Forbes Macintyre AO is an Australian historian, academic and public intellectual and a former Ernest Scott Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He has been voted one of Australia's most influential public intellectuals. He is author of the bestselling Concise History of Australia, which has gone into a number of editions and is co-editor, with Alison Bashford, of the two-volume Cambridge History of Australia. His book The Reds won The Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award in 1998 and The History Wars, co-written with Anna Clark, won the 2004 Premier of New South Wales' Australian History Prize.