Arthur Tange

Arthur Tange : Last of the Mandarins

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For over twenty-five years, Arthur Tange was arguably Australia's most significant public servant, serving every prime minister, Liberal and Labor, from Ben Chifley to Malcolm Fraser. His powerful influence and forceful personality were legendary.

This first biography of the man who influenced Australian foreign and defence policies for more than 30 years sheds new light on many of Australia's political crises, including the downfall of John Gorton as Prime Minister and the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

It also illuminates many of the triumphs and disasters of Australia's international relations, from the Bretton Woods conference and the Colombo Plan of the 1940s, through the ANZUS Treaty negotiations, the Petrov Affair and the Suez crisis in the 1950s, Australia's involvement in Indonesian confrontation and the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and the change from forward defence' to the defence of Australia' in the 1970s.

By examining Tange's personal papers and Defence documents not yet released to the public, Peter Edwards reveals much that was hidden from view during political and diplomatic crises, including a nearly fatal rift in the alliance with the United States.

Elegantly written and painstakingly researched, Arthur Tange: Last of the Mandarins reveals much about Australian's foreign relations, about Australian strategic decision-making, and about relations between ministers and public servants, that is highly relevant to the operations of Australian government today.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 152 x 230mm
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 1741146429
  • 9781741146424

About Peter Edwards

Peter Edwards, a graduate of the universities of Western Australia and Oxford, has published extensively in twentieth century history, principally on Australian foreign policy, Europe between the two world wars, and Australian-American relations. A Rhodes scholar, Harkness fellow and Harold White fellow, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his work as official historian of Australia's involvement in Southeast Asian conflicts. He lives in Victoria and is a Visiting Professor of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra.
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