Harold Holt by Ross Walker | Black Inc.
Harold Holt

Engaging and important – a most readable book
—Geoffrey Blainey

Harold Holt: Always One Step Further

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About the author

Ross Walker

Ross Walker was for many years a high-school teacher of English and English Literature, about which he has published several books and many articles. He has a doctorate in American literature, and specialised knowledge of Australian and American politics, …

More about Ross Walker

Praise for Harold Holt

‘Ross Walker has uncovered an intriguing blend. In public life an industrious, moderate and cautious consensus-builder with a keen sense of public duty, Harold Holt displayed a taste for reckless behaviour in private that would bring his downfall at wild Cheviot Beach. A beautifully told story of a fascinating Australian life and a tragic prime ministership – not only in its bizarre end, but in the entanglement of an amiable, easygoing man in poisonous political rivalry, and a brutal and contentious war in Vietnam.’ —Frank Bongiorno AM, professor of history, Australian National University

‘Walker has a rare ability to sift away all but the gold – this book is full of intriguing vignettes and brilliant details. Together, they tell the story not only of Holt, but of many varied men and women who came into his orbit, and of the times they lived through. At times, it has the quality of a fairytale, with all the wonder and brutality that entails. I had no particular interest in Holt, so did not expect to be fascinated, or moved – but I was.’ —Sean Kelly, author of The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison

‘Engaging and important – a most readable book’ —Geoffrey Blainey

‘Walker does not distract the reader from his objective, to tell the reader a little more about the life, and not the death, of Australia’s 17th prime minister. He respects Harold Holt, and it shows.’ —Samuel Bernardis, The Australian

‘Walker offers an intimate, eloquent and persuasive account of Holt’s behaviour and character from his youth to his sudden death.’ —Patrick Mullins, Inside Story

‘The story that Walker tells is an accurate and intimate description of a mid-century politician.’ —Queensland Reviewers Collective

‘It is a confident book, and often beautifully written – unexpectedly so for a political biography.’ —Sian Cain, The Guardian

‘Walker takes us from Holt’s peripatetic youth, his parents’ divorce, absentee father, school…, the early death of his mother and his dedicated political career.' —The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

‘Politicos will love Ross Walker’s new biography of Australia’s 17th prime minister, Harold Holt: Always One Step Further’ —Tom McIlroy, Australian Financial Review

‘A beautifully told story about Harold Holt’s fascinating life’ —Indira Naidoo, ABC Perth