The Young Menzies: Success, Failure, Resilience 1894-1942

Zachary Gorman

The Young Menzies: Success, Failure, Resilience 1894-1942
Melbourne University Press
29 November 2022

The Young Menzies: Success, Failure, Resilience 1894-1942

Zachary Gorman

How did Menzies develop as the giant of Australian politics?

Sir Robert Menzies is a towering figure in Australian history. As the nation’s longest-serving prime minister, he transformed and ultimately dominated the political landscape, implementing policies that laid the foundations of modern Australia. The story of Menzies and his governments is essential to the Australian narrative- the centrality of political liberalism, the defence of democracy through trying times, and the expanding horizons of our identity, prosperity and appreciation.

The Young Menzies: Success, Failure, Resilience 1894-1942 explores the formative period of Menzies’s life, when his personal outlook and system of beliefs that would help shape modern Australia were themselves still being formed. Contributors look at Menzies’s ideas prior to their political practice and examine their context and origins. This period is also the time in which Menzies first attained power, though in difficult circumstances, when the focus of the nation was on survival. It was in losing office that Menzies was given the impetus to develop his vision for post-war Australia.

This is the first of a four-volume history of Menzies and his world, based on conferences convened by the Robert Menzies Institute at the University of Melbourne. Contributors include Frank Bongiorno, Troy Bramston, Judith Brett, Nick Cater, Justice James Edelman, David Furse-Roberts, Anne Henderson, David Kemp, Angela Kittikhoun, Greg Melleuish and Scott Prasser, with a foreword by Geoffrey Blainey.

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