A revelatory biography of Harold Holt, the prime minister who helped create modern Australia
Harold Holt was a pivotal prime minister in Australian history. Ambitious, modern and telegenic, he helped bring his party and nation into the late twentieth century, following the Menzies years. Nowhere was Holt’s legacy more significant than in the 1967 referendum, and in helping to end the White Australia policy. At the same time, as the Vietnam War raged, Holt dramatically increased Australian troops, telling President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 that Australia was ‘all the way with LBJ’.
In this evocative, intimate and deeply researched biography, Ross Walker captures the worlds in which Holt moved and the people who were close to him. He reveals a popular, gentle, yet at times self-destructive man, whose tendency to always go one step further would have fatal consequences. This is a strikingly original portrait of Australia’s seventeenth prime minister.