History

The Annus Mirabilis of a Subdued Radical

I am going forward, but in a different direction. —J.A. Lyons, in his final speech as a Labor MHR, Canberra, Friday March 13, 1931 The thirty-year political career (from 1909 to 1939) of Australia’s tenth prime minister, Joseph Lyons, is one of the more underestimated in that catalogue. The Liberals fail to regard him as one of their own, in their cultivated ignorance of conservative political leaders before Menzies, and Labor has its own pantheon—Curtin, Chifley, Whitlam, and now, according to Rudd’s address to the 2009 ALP national conference, the long-neglected Fisher. This collection necessarily excludes heretics like Lyons, who…

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