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The Menzies Watershed

Liberalism, Anti-communism, Continuities 1943-1954

Zachary Gorman

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01 December 2023
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How did Menzies lead the newly formed Liberal Party of Australia?

The eleven years that passed between the 1943 and the 1954 elections were arguably some of the most pivotal in Australian history. This was a period of intense political, policy and strategic transition, which saw a popular Labor Government and its state-led vision for post-war reconstruction toppled by Robert Menzies and his newly formed political machine, the Liberal Party of Australia. Meanwhile, a backdrop of rising Cold War tensions came to dominate domestic and international policymaking, ushering in a divisive communist party ban, the ANZUS treaty, the Colombo Plan, and Australia's own agency of international espionage, ASIS.

But what was the difference in practical terms between Menzies and his predecessors? What role was the state to play under a centre-right government, and would Menzies be able to live up to the liberal ideals with which he had won over the Australian public? All these issues are explored in the second 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 Christopher Beer, Andrew Blyth, Troy Bramston, Lorraine Finlay, Nicolle Flint, David Furse-Roberts, Anne Henderson, David Lee, Lucas McLennan, Lyndon Megarrity, Charles Richardson, William Stoltz and Tom Switzer.

Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 325mm,  Width: 160mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   588g
ISBN:   9780522880205
ISBN 10:   0522880207
Pages:   256
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr Zachary Gorman is the academic coordinator at the Robert Menzies Institute. A professional historian, Gorman has worked as a researcher and academic since 2013, including several years at the University of Wollongong, where he received his PhD. He has written two books, Sir Joseph Carruthers- Founder of the New South Wales Liberal Party and Summoning Magna Carta- Freedom's Symbol Over a Millennium, and edited and annotated the 250th anniversary edition of Captain James Cook, R.N.- 150 Years After. He has been published in a wide range of academic journals.

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