Bob Hawke: The Complete Biography (Hardback) by Blanche d’Alpuget
Bob Hawke began life as a good Christian boy from a teetotal family, became a wild, drinking, womanising student, a Rhodes Scholar, a champion of workers, a folk hero recognised throughout the country, a dynamic politician who was elected four times as Australia’s Prime Minister – and transformed his country. He was our longest serving Labor Prime Minister and considered by many our greatest.
By the early 1980s Australia was on the road to becoming ‘the poor white trash of Asia’. Hawke as prime minister, with Paul Keating as treasurer, changed all that. Australia became a forward-looking and humane country whose voice commanded respect on the international stage.
Hawke was an environmentalist before it was fashionable, he loathed racism, helped end apartheid in South Africa, sent ministers to end the war in Cambodia, foresaw that China would become a great world power and established the first Chinese investment in an iron ore mine in Australia.
His journey from the manse of a small South Australian country town to the palaces of Europe, Asia and the United States is the odyssey of a leader it is hard to imagine we will ever see the like of again – a man of towering passions and commitment to causes, and an unshakeable love of humanity.