Curran, James: Whitlam and Nixon at war

Curran, James

Unholy Fury: Whitlam and Nixon at War, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., 2015 (e-book available)

In the early 1970s, two titans of Australian and American politics, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and President Richard Nixon, clashed over the end of the Vietnam war and the shape of a new Asia. A relationship that had endured the heights of the Cold War veered dangerously off course and seemed headed for destruction. Never before—or since—has the alliance sunk to such depths. Drawing on sensational new evidence from once top-secret American and Australian records, this book portrays the bitter clash between these two leaders and their competing visions of the world. As the Nixon White House went increasingly on the defensive in early 1973, reeling from the lethal drip of the Watergate revelations, the first Labor prime minister in twenty-three years looked to redefine ANZUS and Australia’s global stance. It was a heady brew, and not one the Americans were used to. The result was a fractured alliance, and an American president enraged, seemingly hell bent on tearing apart the fabric of a treaty that had become the first principle of Australian foreign policy. (blurb)

Alison Broinowski reviews the book for Honest History. (Another version of her review is in Australian Outlook.) Bob Carr has a review in the Sydney Morning Herald, Troy Bramston has one in The Australian and the author talks on the ABC and at the Sydney Institute.

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