Critics’ Reviews

Even for those active in and allegedly knowledgeable of politics, Davey’s work of detailed research and chronology, of bringing out some of the personalities in objective reporting and tracking the growth and development of the most dominant third force in Australian politics makes fascinating reading.

… [Davey] is objective and, to the great benefit of the reader, he has not only a deep knowledge of his subject but is trusted by the major figures in the party so that no area, good or bad, is left unexamined or unexplored.

The frank comments and explanations of those integrally involved in National Party issues and development … enables outsiders to, for almost the first time, to gain a better understanding of the party. – Australian Quarterly March-April 2007

…handsomely produced… The book is very much an inside account of the party. As well as relying upon the party’s own records, for which he was given unfettered access, Mr Davey has also had access to a wide range of people involved in all aspects of the National Party. Despite his own affiliations with the party, he generally gives a fair minded account that is quite relaxed in pointing not only to the merits of the party but also its pitfalls and perils. The book is well written, though occasionally the organisation is slightly confused. It will, however, be the starting point for those who wish to further study the history of our conservative politics. Paul Davey is to be congratulated on this lucid and readable study. – Labour History No 93, November 2007

Paul Davey’s knowledge of the Party and objectivity as a reporter have combined to produce an important new publication on the National Party of New South Wales. It is a book that needed to be written, not only for New South Wales, but also because of that State’s pivotal role for the nation. – The Hon Tim Fischer, AC

Paul Davey has captured the drama and atmosphere of the National Party’s contribution to the positive development of rural and regional Australia. He has produced a scholarly document that is easy, interesting and revealing to read. – The Rt Hon Doug Anthony, AC CH

The country party of NSW, now approaching its centenary, has defied all predictions of its demise, including my own. Paul Davey has skilfully woven together the story of the party both in NSW and at the Federal level, illuminating our understanding of Australian Politics in the process. – Professor Don Aitkin, AO

The Nationals [is] an absorbing and objective book. … Davey unfolds intriguing stories of the inner workings of the party machine and the front men in the Parliament who made things happen.

The real value of The Nationals is in the way it relates political history in the context of eras at both state and federal levels so readers get a full and balanced picture of significant issues of wide public interest.

No propaganda platform or boring catalogue of dreary events, its resourceful presentation, explanations, interpretations, insights, copious references and endnotes, including first-hand reminiscences of and about leading participants, add character and colour to the content, providing interest for people of all political persuasions.

…The strength, competence and persistence of leadership is clearly evident in Davey’s analysis which highlights the prominent role of such doyens as Michael Bruxner, Charles Cutler, Earle Page, Doug Anthony and Tim Fischer, to mention a few, and the untiring efforts of others in circumstances ranging from harmonious and promising to hostile and exasperating.

The Nationals, elegantly published by The Federation Press in Sydney, undoubtedly will prove a popular and easy read for people throughout country New South Wales because it deals with issues that will interest everyone. – The Northern Daily Leader, 2 Sep 2006

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