Calwell: The Fearless Memoirs of a Great Labor Leader

Calwell: The Fearless Memoirs of a Great Labor Leader

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Arthur Augustus Calwell is one of the most controversial figures in Australian political history. His radicalism and his outspoken condemnation of injustice in all walks of life, including his beloved Roman Catholic Church, earned him a host of friends - and possibly as many enemies. 

Calwell grew up with the Labor Party and represented it for thirty-two years in the House of Representatives. For six of those years he was a Minister of the Crown. He was the architect and builder of Australia's highly successful post-WWII immigration programme. As Minister of Information, he was also frequently at loggerheads with Australia's press barons. Yet, in 1961, a section of the press helped him come within an ace of being Prime Minister of Australia. 

In this autobiography, Calwell pulls no punches and spares no reputations, least of all his own. He recalls his brushes with John Curtain, H V Evatt & Gough Whitlam, who were his political colleagues. He tells of the dramatic moment when Curtin threatened to resign over a remark Calwell made about him. He laments  over the disastrous Labor splits which have helped to keep his party in Opposition for so many years. He discusses in detail his resentment of church interference in political affairs and his arguments which, he says, continued to bring him 'hateful looks' when he went to Church. 

Calwell admits that half the troubles he encountered in life were created by himself. But, he says, he had nothing to regret or repine about.