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Description - Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics by Sean Scalmer

Graham Berry (1822-1904) was colonial Australia's most gifted, creative and controversial politician. A riveting speaker, a newspaper proprietor and editor, and the founder of Australia's first mass political party, he wielded these tools to launch an age of reform: spearheading the adoption of a 'protectionist' economic policy, the payment of parliamentarians, and the taxing of large landowners. He also sought the reform of the Constitution, precipitating a crisis that the London Times likened to a 'revolution'.

This book recovers Berry's forgotten and fascinating life. It explores his drives and aspirations, the scandals and defeats that nearly derailed his career, and his remarkable rise from linen-draper and grocer to adored popular leader. It establishes his formative influence on later Australian politics. And it also uses Berry's life to reflect on the possibilities and constraints of democractic politics, hoping thereby to enrich the contemporary political imagination.

'Democratic Adventurer is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Berry and deftly demonstrates how the democratic battles of a nineteenth-century colony shaped a twentieth-century nation...If Scalmer's admiration for his subject occasionally shines through, it is not to the detriment of this excellent book. This is a historian at the top of his game. Democratic Adventurer will be required reading for those who study colonial Australia, but its clear focus, accessible style, and the excitement of the tale will attract a popular audience also.' - Australian Book Review

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781925835779
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 153mm x mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Monash University Publishing
Publisher: Monash University Publishing
Publish Date: 1-May-2020
Country of Publication: Australia

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