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As It Happened

In this compulsively readable book John Button reflects on the patterns in his life, from growing up in his father’s house in Ballarat to his days as a cabinet minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor governments. He is a natural storyteller who writes memorably about his childhood, his school days and his emerging political allegiances.

Button paints vivid pictures of life inside parliament before he became Minister for Industry and Commerce in 1983, a job he was to hold for ten years. In recounting the challenges he faced Button always understands that politics is just one part of life. In this fascinating, stylish and hilarious memoir, he writes honestly about how politics works and why it often fails to work.

About the Author

John Button was leader of the government in the Senate and industry minister from 1983 to 1993. He was a professorial fellow at Monash University and a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers. He edited Look Here: Considering the Australian Environment, and wrote Flying the Kite, On the Loose and As it Happened.

Mr Button died in April...

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Text publication date:
2 August 1999
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Praise for John Button
andAs It Happened

‘A classic political work.’

‘The best political memoir, at least by an Australian, that I have ever read.’

‘Illuminating vignettes of the realities of the political life appear on every page of this entertaining memoir - endlessly quotable and stylishly written.’

‘Beautifully written, full of wit and insights and disarmingly honest. It is, quite simply, the best Australian memoir to appear to date.’

‘Admirers will find in this book the same frankness and humour that made him such a respected political figure.’

‘Button’s days in the Senate almost resemble the journey of an accidental Canberra tourist who has wandered into the chambers and started taking notes. It’s not so much what he did, as what it’s like to commute to the capital.’

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