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John Curtin, prime minister during the darkest days of the Second World War, is remembered as the reluctant hero of Australian politics. In the Australian story he is the recovering alcoholic and the accidental prime minister who saved Australia from invasion by Japan, overrode the opposition of Churchill and Roosevelt to bring home Australian troops from the Middle East, and created the Australian alliance with the United States. However, there is much more to the Curtin story than this.

John Edwards challenges our understanding of Curtin's place in Australian history. He offers a reinterpretation of the leader and the man in which Curtin emerges as a deceptively cunning player in the chess game of politics. He also argues that overblown claims for Curtin as the warlord have obscured his much more important legacy in laying the economic foundations of today's Australia.

Curtin's Gift is a fresh and thoughtful look at one of Australia's most revered prime ministers.

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