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Gough Whitlam: A Moment In History

by Jenny Hocking

This moment was not his alone, nor could it ever have come about without him.Gough Whitlam turned to Graham Freudenberg, touched him lightly on the shoulder, saying, ‘It’s been a long road, Comrade, but we’re there’, and walked out to meet the spotlight…

Acclaimed biographer Jenny Hocking’s Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History is the first contemporary and definitive biographical study of the former Labor Prime Minister.

From his childhood in the fledging city of Canberra to his first appearance as Prime Minister (playing Neville Chamberlain), to his extensive war service in the Pacific and marriage to Margaret, the champion swimmer and daughter of Justice Wilfred Dovey, the biography draws on previously unseen archival material, extensive interviews with family and colleagues, and exclusive interviews with Gough Whitlam himself.

Hocking’s narrative skill and scrupulous research reveals an extraordinary and complex man, whose life is, in every way, formed by the remarkable events of previous generations of his family, and who would, in turn, change Australian political and cultural developments in the twentieth century.


‘Gough Whitlam is a compelling political narrative, enlivened with a warmth and humanity and a wealth of personal anecdote missing from previous accounts of Gough’s career.’  Evan Williams, The Weekend Australian

‘…the best Australian political biography in decades.’  Greg Kelton, Adelaide Advertiser

‘This authoritative, illuminating biography takes an original approach to the life of one of our best-remembered prime ministers and a resounding Australian icon. There have been many books about the Whitlam legacy over the years…but few have placed his life in the perspective it deserves.’  The Weekend Australian


01 November, 2008

About Jenny Hocking

Jenny Hocking is Head of the School of Journalism, Australian Indigenous Studies at Monash University. She is the author of two major political biographies, Lionel Murphy: A Political Biography, shortlisted in the South Australian Festival Awards for Literature: National Non-Fiction Awards, and Frank Hardy: Politics Literature Life, shortlisted in the NSW Premier's History Awards. Jenny has also written extensively on counter-terrorism and democracy, most recently in 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. The 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.

Other books by Jenny Hocking


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