Prime Minister Andrew Fisher was one of Australia′s great nation-builders, yet his story is largely unknown. Leaving school early to work in the coalmines of Scotland, he educated himself at night, and in 1885, at the age of 22, he immigrated to Queensland. A staunch Presbyterian and fervent unionist, Fisher committed himself to politics and was soon elected to the Queensland parliament, then to the first federal parliament.
In 1908 he became prime minister for the first of three stints in the job, serving Australia for longer than John Curtin, Ben Chifley, Gough Whitlam, or Paul Keating.
As prime minister, Fisher launched a massive nation-building program, which included the establishment of the national capital, the Commonwealth Bank, old age pensions, and a transcontinental railway line. His most pressing concern was to populate and defend the new nation. To this end he famously pledged to back Britain in the Great War ′to the last man and the last shilling′ - a commitment that came at the heavy cost of Gallipoli and the Western Front.
Andrew Fisher was a man who hated imperial honours, yet enjoyed the trappings of office, a leader who believed in world socialism, yet took Australians into the First World War. In this authoritative and immensely readable biography, David Day reveals the man, his politics and his remarkable legacy.
‘Well researched and eminently readable.’ Sydney Morning Herald
About the Author
David Day has written widely on Australian history and the history of World War II. His biography of John Curtin won the 2000 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for History and was shortlisted for the 2000 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction, while his biography of Ben Chifley was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Award for History in 2002. David Day is currently an Honorary Associate with the History Program at La Trobe University and a visiting professor at the University of Aberdeen. He lives in Eltham, Victoria.
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 624
Published: August 2009
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.0 x 4.0
Weight (kg): 0.676