Good drinkers, bad swimmers and unlikely heroes
Since Australia's birth in 1901, twenty-seven politicians have run the national show. Their time at the top has ranged from eight days for Frank Forde to eighteen years for Bob Menzies. But whatever the length of their term, each Prime Minister has a story worth sharing.
Edmund Barton united the bickering states in a federation; Billy Hughes forced US President Woodrow Wilson to take notice of Australia. The unlucky Jimmy Scullin took office days before Wall Street crashed into the Great Depression, while 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 in office.
With characteristic wit and expert knowledge, Mungo MacCallum brings the nation's leaders to vivid life. The Good, the Bad and the Unlikely tells the tale of the many men and one woman who've had a crack at running the country. It is a wonderfully entertaining education.
Mungo MacCallum has long been one of Australia's most influential and entertaining political journalists, in a career spanning more than four decades. He has worked with the Australian, the Age, the Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and numerous magazines, as well as the ABC, SBS, Channel Nine and Channel Ten. His books include the bestselling Mungo: The Man Who Laughs, Run Johnny Run: The Story of the 2004 Election and Poll Dancing: The Story of the 2007 Election and Punch & Judy: The Double Disillusion Election of 2010.