History

The Unknowable Stanley Melbourne Bruce

David Lee’s well-researched biography, Stanley Melbourne Bruce, Australian Internationalist, provides reminders that building a nice place for yourself in history is not just a matter of hard work and civic virtue, it’s having luck in your calculations, for no one knows the future, and “good judgment” is half the time good luck. Bruce worked hard, as Prime Minister through the 1920s, as Australian High Commissioner in London through the 1930s and 1940s, and for the League of Nations through the fraught 1930s, but miscalculated at crucial points and compromised his place in history. Though this biography makes a good show…

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