Bill McMahon, an eccentric economic reformer?
William McMahon was a significant, if widely derided and disliked, figure in Australian politics. Was he our worst prime minister? How did he get to the Lodge? Was he the first free-market “dry” politician to take on the orthodoxies of protectionism and economic interventionism?
The first biography of our 20th prime minister tells the story of his life and his role in the great debates over Australia’s economic direction in the 1960s and 1970s. A man whose life was coloured by tragedy, comedy, persistence, courage, farce and failure. McMahon’s story has never been told at length – until now.
Patrick Mullins, author of Tiberius with a Telephone: the Life and Stories of William McMahon (Scribe) with The Australian’s Editor-at-Large Paul Kelly for a conversation about one of our most intriguing prime ministers and his place in Australian political and economic history.