About the Book

Ben Chifley was arguably twentieth-century Australia's greatest and most popular prime minister. Many of the policies that his Labor government introduced after the Second World War came to define modern Australia: mass immigration, improved social services, the beginnings of a free health-care scheme, commitment to full employment, and greater engagement with Asia. From his years in central New South Wales through to his controversial marriage outside his Catholic religion, Chifley was not afraid to confront the status quo. A leading opponent of conscription during the First World War and later a leader of Bathurst enginemen during the great strike of 1917, he was also the prime minister who sent troops into the coalmines to break a strike. In his important study, David Day has given Chifley his due and set him in the context of his time. 'Well paced, clearly written and well informed on the times and the context ... Day does not have it in him to write a bad book.' - Sydney Morning Herald 'Day is one of Australia's most capable historians ... his sharp eye doesn't miss a trick.' - West Australian 'Profoundly readable...[Day] has arguably attained a position few other Australian historians, let alone academics, have managed to secure for themselves' - the Age

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780732279974
  • ISBN 10: 0732279976
  • Imprint: 4th Estate - AU
  • On Sale: 01/03/2007
  • Pages: 720
  • List Price: 32.99 AUD


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.

More about the author

Other Works by David A Day

John Curtin

by David A Day

Paul Keating

by David A Day

See all