‘Cometh the hour, cometh the leader?‘ Inside Story, 18 November 2019
Marks the release of an updated edition of the author’s The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits in Australia. (Michael Piggott reviewed the first edition of the book for Honest History.) Abjorensen considers how we might rate prime ministers and asks these important questions.
But beyond elections and tenure we need to consider what these prime ministers actually did in office. What challenges did they face? What were their responses? What, if any, were the missed opportunities? How many could really be described as visionary? And, lastly but perhaps most importantly, which of them left a discernible legacy? In other words, who were the genuinely transformative leaders after whose term in office we can say the nation was no longer the same?
Abjorensen’s brief discussion is illuminating, without reaching firm conclusions about a ranking of our PMs.
There are lots of posts on the Honest History site which refer to our prime ministers. Most recently, see David Stephens’ review of John Edwards’ two volumes on Curtin.