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Issue Details: First known date: 2006... 2006 Biography and the Rehabilitation of the Subject : The Case of John Gorton
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'When I was an undergraduate, some years ago, I read a comment on biography by Sir Lewis Namier, the magisterial historian of eighteenth century British politics. Namier thought that someone embarking on a biography was no better qualified for the task than a woman who applied for the position of minding children and said in support of her application that she herself had once been a child. No doubt with the advancement of so many academic disciplines and the multi-skilling of so many academics, Namier’s dismissal of biography is now out of date for most biographers. But not so in my case. When, therefore, I was commissioned to write a biography of Sir John Gorton (2002), a chapter on Sir Robert Askin (2006) and a long entry on Harold Holt in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (1996), I realised that my immediate problem was myself. Very simply, my qualifications, let alone my experience, did not equip me for the task.'  (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Political Lives : Chronicling Political Careers and Administrative Histories Tracey Arklay (editor), J. R. Nethercote (editor), John Wanna (editor), Canberra : ANU E View , 2006 12044331 2006 anthology criticism biography

    'This monograph brings together some of the best practitioners of the art and craft of political biography in Australia. They are simultaneously some of our best scholars who, at least in part, have turned their attention to writing Australian political lives. They are not merely chroniclers of our times but multidisciplinary analysts constructing layers of explanation and theoretical insight. They include academic, professional and amateur biographers; scholars from a range of disciplines (politics, history, sociology, public administration, gender studies); and politicians who for a time strutted the political stage. The assembled papers explore the strengths and weaknesses of the biographical approach; the enjoyment it can deliver; the problems and frustrations of writing biographies; and the various ways the ‘project’ can be approached by those constructing these lives. They probe the art and craft of the political biographer.'(Publication summary)

    Canberra : ANU E View , 2006
    pg. 61-64
Last amended 19 Oct 2017 10:36:30
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