The Menzies Watershed - The Centre for Independent Studies
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Date & Time

Tuesday, 9 April - Tuesday, 9 April 2024
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST

The Menzies Watershed

Please join us on Tuesday, 9 April, as we celebrate the Sydney launch of The Menzies Watershed: Liberalism, Anti-communism, Continuities 1943–1954“. We’ll be joined by Greg Craven and the book’s editor, Zachary Gorman, for a conversation about the newly released book. The Menzies Watershed is the second in a four-volume history of Menzies, released by Melbourne University Press. CIS Executive Director, Tom Switzer will moderate this event. 

About The Book: The eleven years that passed between the 1943 and the 1954 elections were arguably some of the most pivotal in Australian history. This was a period of intense political, policy and strategic transition, which saw a popular Labor Government and its state-led vision for post-war reconstruction toppled by Robert Menzies and his newly formed political machine, the Liberal Party of Australia. Meanwhile, a backdrop of rising Cold War tensions came to dominate domestic and international policymaking, ushering in a divisive communist party ban, the ANZUS treaty, the Colombo Plan, and Australia’s own agency of international espionage, ASIS. But what was the difference in practical terms between Menzies and his predecessors? What role was the state to play under a centre-right government, and would Menzies be able to live up to the liberal ideals with which he had won over the Australian public? 

Copies of The Menzies Watershed will be available to purchase on the night. 

Zachary Gorman is the academic coordinator at the Robert Menzies Institute. A professional historian, Gorman has worked as a researcher and academic since 2013, including several years at the University of Wollongong, where he received his PhD. 

Greg Craven is an Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law and former Vice-chancellor of Australian Catholic University. 

Tom Switzer is the Executive Director at the Centre for Independent Studies, and formerly hosted Between the Lines on the ABC’s Radio National. He is also a regular contributor to The Australian, the Australian Financial Review and Sky News Australia.