• Publication Date: November 25, 2013
  • EAN: 9781862879034
  • 544 pages; 6" x 8⅝"

The Whitlam Legacy (with Dust jacket)


Product Description

Cover image: Gough Whitlam addresses a crowd outside Parliament House on the day after his government was dismissed, on 12 November 1975. Source: News Limited © Ross Duncan.

The election of the Whitlam government in 1972 marked a turning point in 20th century Australia. Shaking off the vestiges of two decades of conservative rule, Gough Whitlam brought new ideas, new policies and new people to the task of governing.

Bursting with energy and expectation, the Labor government led a reform revolution in many areas, from education and health to the environment and foreign policy. But alongside the great achievements were great failures and, ultimately, great tragedy when the government was dismissed.

For the first time, Gough Whitlam, ministers, advisers, public servants, party and union insiders provide a unique account of this turbulent period in Australian politics. They reveal what worked and what didn’t, and shed light on the personalities driving the engines of change.

The candid views of insiders are balanced with analysis from journalists and academics. The book also includes new research and previously unpublished photos and archival documents. The Whitlam Legacy provides the definitive account of the government that changed Australia forever.

* Click here for information about The Whitlam Legacy 2015 PAPERBACK


“This book really is a great work of scholarship. It is a primer for anyone interested in politics or interested in carving out a career in politics. To get these people to write about the Whitlam government is a real tribute to Troy Bramston. From now on, nobody will be able to write about the Whitlam government without consulting The Whitlam Legacy.” Bob Carr


The Whitlam Legacy in the Paper…

Kerr’s word play masked his reasons behind Whitlam’s dismissal Read full article…

Parting words for the party Gough loves Read full article…

Gough Whitlam duumvirate’s whirlwind of change Read full article…

Gough changed us and saved ALP Read full article…

Labor must heed Whitlam and not waste this chance to reform Read full article…

Whitlam’s legacy resonates today-Shorten Read full article…

Gough Whitlam ‘a stroke of luck’ for the lucky country Read full article…

Abandon doubt Read full article…

Gough in stereo Read full article…

The Whitlam Legacy Launch on TV…

Channel 7 News Watch report…

Channel 9 News Watch report…

The Whitlam Legacy (Troy Bramston/Contributors) on Radio…

Troy Bramston on Radio National with Fran Kelly Listen to full interview…

Troy Bramston on Radio National with Fran Kelly Watch interview…

Troy Bramston on 2UE with Paul Murray Listen to full interview…

Bob Carr on 4BC with Ian Skippen and Donna Lynch Listen to full interview…

The Whitlam Legacy Alerts…

Abbey’s Bookshop: The Whitlam Legacy tops bestseller, Non-Fiction list of the week Click to view…

Frank Bongiorno’s chapter online, Inside Story: Whitlam, the 1960s and The Program Click to read…

Foreword by Gough Whitlam

Prologue: The Whitlam Ascendancy
Troy Bramston

Part One – The Whitlam Years and Political Style

Gough Whitlam: In his Father’s Shadow
Michael Kirby

I was a Teenage Whitlamite
Bob Carr

Whitlam, the 1960s and The Program
Frank Bongiorno

The Art of the Matter
Graham Freudenberg

Hearts and Minds: The Meaning of ‘It’s Time’
Nick Cater

Gough Whitlam: The Campaigner
Richard Farmer

Victories, Defeats and Electoral Politics
Malcolm Mackerras

Whitlam’s Opposition
Gerard Henderson

Part Two – Managing Government

The Whitlam Government Through the Cabinet Papers
Troy Bramston

Inside the Prime Minister’s Office
Evan Williams

A View from the Backbench
Ralph Willis

The Public Service
J R Nethercote

Whitlam and the Media
Eric Walsh

Rodney Tiffen

Part Three – Policy and the Whitlam Government

Economic Policy
John O’Mahony

Health Policy
John Deeble

Education Policy
Michael Hogan

Social Policy
Brian Howe

Women of Australia
Susan Ryan

Environment Policy
Jeff Angel

Industrial Relations Policy
Michael Easson

Primary Industry Policy
John Kerin

Immigration and Multiculturalism
Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope

Aboriginal Affairs
Frank Brennan

It’s Time, the Arts and Cultural Policy
Patricia Amphlett

Foreign and Defence Policy
Gordon Bilney

Law Reform and the Constitution
George Williams

Part Four – The Dismissal

The Dismissal
Michael Sexton

Sir John Did His Duty
Peter van Onselen

Media, Politics and The Dismissal
Leigh Hatcher

The Untold Story of The Dismissal
Troy Bramston and Paul Kelly

Part Five – Reflections and Assessments

A Personal Perspective
Kep Enderby

Politics, Policy and Labor in Retrospect
Moss Cass with Vivien Encel

Papua New Guinea: A Quiet Achievement
Bill Morrison

Gough Whitlam and Labor Tradition
Carol Johnson

A View from the Press Gallery
Geoff Kitney

Gough Whitlam: The Political Singularity
Barry Jones

The Whitlam Legacy
Paul Kelly

Epilogue: Whitlam’s True Believers
Troy Bramston

1. Dismissal Documents
2. The Australian Records Labor’s Rise and Fall
3. The Whitlam Cabinets 1972-75

Chapter Notes

Notes on Contributors


The book’s programmatic attention to political style, media and campaigning; the management (and mismanagement) of government; to views from those in cabinet, those on the backbench and those inside the Prime Minister’s Office; and then to policy is invaluable. Read full review… – James Walter, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Sept 2014

Forty years on. This book tells a tale which is still exhilarating and devastating. Awe inspiring in what it reveals of the extent of policy preparation and shocking in its revelation of the failure to engage the processes to make it happen. All entering parliament and/or aspiring to a political career should read this book – and reflect on it in the light of what became of subsequent Labor governments. Read full review… – June R Verrier, Australasian Study of Parliament Group, April 2014

Bramston’s new effort, The Whitlam Legacy, ought to be read consistent with the other milestone books of the period … Bramston has assembled a formidable array of talent as narrators. [The book] does justice to the Whitlam experiment, highlighting political and legislative success, while never ignoring failure or folly. Troy Bramston has done an admirable job in seeking to bring many threads in this political tapestry together in a highly readable, engaging and honest way. Read full review… – Stephen Loosley, Spectator Australia Magazine, 29 March 2014

The Whitlam Legacy appraises the government’s manifest failures as well as its successes. It is an illuminating retrospective for those unfamiliar with this unique era, and for those who are familiar there are intriguing little-known vignettes – MPs having a punch-up near King’s Hall, Gerard Henderson doubting Billy McMahon’s sanity, Arthur Calwell providing information to McMahon to undermine Whitlam’s leadership, Rupert Murdoch and Malcolm Fraser sharing the same nanny as youngsters, Paul Keating insisting that Kerr should have been arrested, and remarkable revelations of the extent of the public service chiefs’ resistance to Labor policies. Read full review… – Ross McMullin, Australian Book Review, March 2014

This book will be most appreciated by those unfamiliar with the Whitlam years or those who have an interest in revisiting that time. It is a volume which is fairly comprehensive in its coverage of its topic and does offer some fresh perspectives. Read full review… – MR Tyson, Bar News, Autumn 2014

Bramston is an articulate champion of the policies of modern social democracy that Whitlam epitomised in the 1960s and 70s. Yet he and the pick of the other contributors are at their best when narrating the force of circumstances that brought the Whitlam government to its knees. … a book of stimulating essays on a topic that will reverberate down the years … Read full review… – Frank Carrigan, Weekend Australian, 25-26 Jan 2014

“This book really is a great work of scholarship. It is a primer for anyone interested in politics or interested in carving out a career in politics. To get these people to write about the Whitlam government is a real tribute to Troy Bramston. From now on, nobody will be able to write about the Whitlam government without consulting The Whitlam Legacy.” – Bob Carr

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