Colonial Ambition: Foundations of Australian Democracy, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., 2006
Colonial Ambition tells the story of the politicians and would-be politicians of Sydney, who were driven by a determination to lift themselves and their new colony to a higher level. They wanted parliamentary liberty, though they were sharply divided over the form it might take and these divisions, centred in Sydney, were unremitting. Peter Cochrane tells of the fight for responsible government and democracy through a memorable cast of characters: W.C. Wentworth, Sir George Gipps, Robert Lowe, Lord Howick (Earl Grey), Henry Parkes, Charles Cowper, Lord John Russell and more, all of whom speak for themselves, in the robust language of the day … Colonial Ambition is testament that Australia does have a rich and exciting political history. (blurb)
The book shared the 2007 Prime Minister’s Prize for History with Carlyon’s The Great War. It is reviewed here, here and here.