The public and private lives of Prime Minister John Howard are the subject of a free lecture at The University of Western Australia next week.
Author, academic and political commentator, Dr Peter van Onselen, will explore the character of the Prime Minister as revealed in his book John Winston Howard: The Biography.
The book has caused a stir with its revelations about Treasurer Peter Costello’s less than flattering assessment of John Howard as Treasurer and his own thwarted desire for the Prime Ministership.
The free public lecture is on Monday, September 3, 2007, at UWA’s Alexander Lecture Theatre, from 6pm.
“There are many John Howards,” Dr van Onselen said. “There is the ordinary bloke who enjoys spending time with his family and watching the cricket. There is the strong-willed man of principle that his supporters like to imagine. There is the rat-cunning opportunist feared and loathed by his opponents. Then there are all the gradations in between.
“To understand John Howard we must reconcile the many contradictory parts of his political persona: the conservative and the radical; the methodical politician and the risk-taker; the nationalist and the globalist,” he said.
Dr van Onselen’s account of the private man and the politician goes a long way to reveal the various elements that has led to the PM’s extraordinary political success.
Dr van Onselen is Associate Professor in Politics and Government at Edith Cowan University. He has a regular column in The Bulletin and has been a regular contributor to The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Courier Mail. He is a regular commentator on political matters for television and radio both nationally and in Perth. Along with Dr Wayne Errington, he is the author of John Winston Howard: The Biography, published by Melbourne University Press.
John Winston Howard: The Biography will be available for purchase and signing on the night.