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After Paul Hasluck’s death in 1993 his son Nicholas, himself a well-known writer, read the extraordinary manuscript on which The Chance of Politics is based. Drawn from Hasluck’s private notebooks, it provides intimate portraits of people he knew in Canberra: among them Evatt, Casey, Barwick, Calwell, McEwen, McMahon, Whitlam and Fraser. There is also an enthralling account of events after the death of Harold Holt when John Gorton defeated Hasluck in a ballot to decide the new prime minister.
Vivid, honest and wise, The Chance of Politics is more than a brilliant work of biography or an informal history of a fascinating era. In describing the struggles for power, the clashes of will and the trade-offs between leadership and expedience, Paul Hasluck takes us to the heart of politics and political character.
‘A book of rare insight and remarkable frankness. Hasluck’s portraits will become classics.’
‘The Chance of Politics provides a marvellous evocation of the political culture of the day. And no one will read this without being impressed by the extraordinary frankness and shrewdness of Hasluck’s commentary about the leading personalities of his party.’