Arthur Calwell (Australian Biographical Monographs 20) -- James Franklin Gerry O Nolan

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Arthur Calwell

Transforming Australia Through Immigration

Australian Biographical Monographs 20

James Franklin
Gerry O Nolan

Paperback, 100 pages, $19.95

ISBN: 978-1-922815-81-1

It has been nearly fifty years since a biography of Arthur Calwell, Labor federal member from 1940 to 1972, Minister for Immigration and later leader of the Opposition. His massive immigration  program in the immediate postwar period began the transformation of Australia into a multicultural  nation. Calwell served under the best (Chifley) and possibly the most difficult (Evatt) of the Labor leaders, and remained loyal to the Labor cause when it split in the mid 1950s when its future  looked bleak. Yet, after becoming leader in 1960 he almost defeated then Prime Minister Menzies at the 1961 election and did much to restore Labor’s faith in itself as well as to renew policy for the nation. However, two subsequent election defeats in 1963 and 1966 meant Calwell had to make way for the younger Gough Whitlam in 1967. He retired at the 1972 election which saw Labor finally back in office. So, this is a story of conviction, belief and persistence through the long period of 23 years in the political wilderness.

This new monograph, researched by Professor James Franklin with Gerry O Nolan not only refreshes our memory about Arthur Calwell, the long-serving politician, but also Calwell the man, including his Catholic religious beliefs which figured far more prominently in public life and personal considerations than for most politicians today.

James Franklin’s previous books include Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia, The Real Archbishop Mannix (with Gerry O Nolan) and Catholic Thought and Catholic Action. He is Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and editor of the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society.

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