An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark

An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark


By (author) Mark McKenna

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  • Publisher: Melbourne University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 820 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 238mm x 58mm | 1,642g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Carlton
  • ISBN 10: 0522856179
  • ISBN 13: 9780522856170
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 16pp colour photos
  • Sales rank: 319,901

Product description

Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries-many that have never been read before. An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history. It tells of his friendships with Patrick White and Sidney Nolan. It details an urgent and dynamic marriage, ripped apart at times by Clark's constant need for extramarital romantic love. A son who wrote letters to his dead parents. A historian who placed narrative ahead of facts. A doubter who flirted with Catholicism. A controversial public figure who marked slights and criticisms with deeply held grudges. To understand Clark's life is to understand twentieth century Australia. And it raises fundamental questions about the craft of biography. When are letters too personal, comments too hurtful and insights too private to publish? Clark incessantly documented his lifeandmdash;leaving notes to the biographers he knew would pursue his story. He had a deep need to be remembered and this book means he will now be understood in an unforgettable way.

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Author information

Associate Professor Mark McKenna is Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Sydney.

Review quote

"This is a remarkably impressive biography. It is deeply immersed in the subject, unflinching in its assessment yet empathetic in the best sense . . . I found it hard to put down." --Stuart Macintyre, Australian historian and former dean of the faculty of arts, University of Melbourne