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The Brilliant Boy : Doc Evatt and the Great Australian Dissent - Gideon Haigh

The Brilliant Boy

Doc Evatt and the Great Australian Dissent

By: Gideon Haigh

Paperback | 7 January 2022

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Paperback


RRP $34.99

$28.50

19%OFF

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Longlisted for the 2022 Indie Book Awards

Chosen as a ‘Book of the Year’ in The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian Book Review.

In a quiet Sydney street in 1937, a seven-year-old immigrant boy drowned in a ditch that had filled with rain after being left unfenced by council workers. How the law should deal with the trauma of the family’s loss was one of the most complex and controversial cases to reach Australia’s High Court, where it seized the imagination of its youngest and cleverest member.


These days, ‘Doc’ Evatt is remembered mainly as the hapless and divisive opposition leader during the long ascendancy of his great rival Sir Robert Menzies. Yet long before we spoke of ‘public intellectuals’, Evatt was one: a dashing advocate, an inspired jurist, an outspoken opinion maker, one of our first popular historians and the nation’s foremost champion of modern art. Through Evatt’s innovative and empathic decision in Chester v the Council of Waverley Municipality, which argued for the law to acknowledge inner suffering as it did physical injury, Gideon Haigh rediscovers the most brilliant Australian of his day, a patriot with a vision of his country charting its own path and being its own example – the same attitude he brought to being the only Australian president of the UN General Assembly, and instrumental in the foundation of Israel.

A feat of remarkable historical perception, deep research and masterful storytelling, The Brilliant Boy confirms Gideon Haigh as one of our finest writers of non-fiction. It shows Australia in a rare light, as a genuinely clever country prepared to contest big ideas and face the future confidently.

About the Author

Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for almost four decades, published more than 40 books and contributed to more than 100 newspapers and magazines. His books include The Cricket Wars, The Summer Game and On Warne (which won numerous prizes) on cricket, and works on BHP, James Hardie and how abortion became legal in Australia. His book The Office: A Hardworking History won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He has appeared widely on radio and TV. He lives in Melbourne.
Industry Reviews
'A loving act of historical and biographical recovery. No one until Haigh has worked out how to turn it all into a compelling
story. This is the singular achievement of one of Australia’s finest non-fiction writers ... Haigh is a master wordsmith, with a remarkable ability to convey much with little. [A] splendid book.'
 

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