Author(s): Jenny Hocking
Gough Whitlam, Australia's twenty-first prime minister, swept to power in December 1972, ending twenty-three years of conservative rule. In barely three years Whitlam's dramatic reform agenda would transform Australia. It was an ascendancy bitterly resented by some, never accepted by others, and ended with dismissal by the Governor-General just three years laterandmdash;an outcome that polarised debate and left many believing the full story had not been told. In this much-anticipated second volume of her biography of Gough Whitlam, Jenny Hocking has used previously unearthed archival material and extensive interviews with Gough Whitlam, his family, colleagues and foes, to bring the key players in these dramatic events to life. The identity of the mysterious 'third man', who counselled the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, in his decision to sack the twice-elected Whitlam government and appoint Malcolm Fraser as prime minister is confirmed here by Kerr himself, as the High Court justice Sir Anthony Mason, and the full story of his involvement is now revealed for the first time. From Kerr's private papers Hocking details months of secret meetings and conversations between Kerr and Mason in the lead-up to the dismissal, that had remained hidden for over thirty-seven years. In response to these revelations Sir Anthony Mason released an extensive public statement, acknowledging his role and disclosing additional information that is fully explored in this new edition. This definitive biography takes us behind the political intrigue to reveal a devastated Whitlam and his personal struggle in the aftermath of the dismissal, the unfulfilled years that followed and his eventual political renewal as Australia's ambassador to UNESCO. It also tells, through the highs and the lows of his decades of public life, how Whitlam depended absolutely on the steadfast support of the love of his life, his wife, Margaret. For this is also the story of a remarkable marriage and an enduring partnership. The truth of this tumultuous period in Australia's history is finally revealed in Gough Whitlam: His Time
Professor Jenny Hocking is a Research Professor and Australian Research Council Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) Fellow with the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. She is the author of two major biographies, Lionel Murphy: A Political Biography, shortlisted in the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature: National Non-Fiction Awards, and Frank Hardy: Politics, Literature, Life, shortlisted in the NSW Premier's History Awards. Hocking has also written extensively on counter-terrorism and democracy, including Terror Laws: ASIO, Counter-terrorism and the Threat to Democracy. The first volume of Whitlam's biography, Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History, was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year, the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and the Prime Minister's Awards for Literature 2009, longlisted for the Walkley Awards Non-Fiction Book Award 2009 and a finalist in the Magarey Medal for Biography 2010. This acclaimed second volume, Gough Whitlam: His Time, has been short-listed for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards (National History Prize) 2013, the Queensland Literary Awards 2013, long-listed in the NiB Waverley Awards for Literature 2013 and was a finalist in the National Biography Award 2013.