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David Day's biography John Curtin: A Life will be the first to critically reassess Australia's best remembered leader and examine his importance as the first prime minister to encourage a sense of Australian nationalism. John Curtin was the Labor Prime Minister from 1941 to 1945. It was during these turbulent times that Curtin decided to look no longer to Britain for assistance but to turn instead to America. He was the leader who welcomed Douglas MacArthur to Australia but who later tried to close the Pandora's box that he had opened. He was the leader who stood up to Churchill over returning Australian troops to Australia but who later allowed some to be detained in Ceylon and who, towards the end of the war, embraced Australia's membership of the Empire through all the twists and turns of his life, the many tragedies and conflicts, the dark days and the long anxious nights, Curtin's story remains one of the most inspiring Australian stories of the century. It is the story of a man who selflessly devoted his life to the service of his fellow Australians and who died while victory against Japan was in sight. John Curtin: A Life is a story in the tradition of Albert Facey and Weary Dunlop. It is the story of an ordinary person who finds himself confronted with extraordinary circumstances and ultimately triumphs. David Day's exploration into Curtin's past has uncovered not only the political persona but also the man. He looks at the demons and weaknesses that drove and shaped the man, and through him, shaped modern Australia. John Curtin: A Life is the most serious and substantial biography of John Curtin, looking closely for the first time at his childhood in order to explain his later life. All told, it is the story of an Australian hero that is both inspiring and finally, very moving.


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