What Were They Thinking

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Challenging conventional ways of thinking about politics, this ambitious history of 20th-century Australian political thought explains how several of the most well-established Australian political ideas, such as franchise and the welfare state, came to be. By examining the impact of these ideas and the ways they have inspired individuals and movements from before the first prime minister, Edmund Barton, all the way to current incumbent Kevin Rudd, this robust study makes what often seems arcane or abstract come to life.


James Walter is professor of political science at Monash University and a leading writer on Australian politics.