John Murphy’s Evatt: A life is a biography of Australian parliamentarian and jurist H.V. Evatt. Remembered as the first foreign minister to argue for an independent Australian policy in the 1940s and for his central role in the formation of the United Nations, Evatt went on to be the leader of the Labor Party in the 1950s, the time of the Split that resulted in the party being out of power for a generation. Murphy traces the course of Evatt’s life and places him in the context of a long period of conservatism in Australia. It treats Evatt’s inner, personal life as being just as important as his spectacular, controversial and eventually tragic public career. Murphy looks closely at Evatt’s previously unexamined private life and unravels some of the puzzles that have lead Evatt to be considered erratic, even mad.
“Bert” Evatt remains a polarising figure – still considered by many in Labor as the man who “split the party” and by many conservatives as unreliable and dangerous.
About the author
John Murphy teaches and researches Australian politics and history, and comparative social policy history, with a developing focus on Indonesian social protection. He has published research on Australian social, political and policy history, public narratives about welfare, masculinity and nation, and memory, historiography and biography. He previously taught at RMIT University where he was director of the Centre for Applied Social Research. In the Faculty of Arts at Melbourne, he was previously the Associate Dean (Research and Research Training), Assistant Dean for the PhD Program, and Acting Dean. He is a former editor of the Australian Politics and Policy series of Melbourne University Publishing's Academic Monograph Series.