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John Curtin's War Volume II : Triumph and Decline - John Edwards

John Curtin's War Volume II

Triumph and Decline

Hardcover Published: 29th October 2018
ISBN: 9780143791362
Number Of Pages: 512

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The first volume of John Curtin's War was recognized as 'a landmark in Australian political biography' (The Australian) and 'remarkable' (AFR).

That book ends with the fall of Singapore and a fundamental realignment of Australia's place in the world- 'The Americans were coming. So were the Japanese.'

This second volume, 'Triumph and Decline', tells the full, fascinating story of the next four years, as Curtin leads Australia in meeting its enemy and its new friend, the latter personified by the charismatic, self-certain General Douglas MacArthur. As Churchill abandons Australia and pursues a 'Hitler first' strategy, Curtin and MacArthur fight to ensure that the War in the Pacific is an American priority.

As the critical battles of the Coral Sea and Midway decide Australia's fate - and Kakoda creates a new legend - Curtin's resolute calm and implacable determination lift him beyond party conflicts to become 'Australia's leader'. But the outward strength disguises deteriorating health, and increasing doubt about the American alliance. Curtin determined Australia's future - but what would it have been had he lived?

'Triumph and Decline' completes Edwards' masterpiece and cements John Curtin's place as our greatest of Prime Ministers.


Both Volumes show Australia's Situation in The Pacific War.


The writer portrays Curtain's role as PM of the time well. He shows Curtain's many good decisions and some bad ones. Curtain's 'turn to America' was a masterstroke as was his recommending MacArthur as Supreme Commander thus keeping America interested in Australia. The majority of MacArthur's Army was Australian for a long while. Most of Churchill's promises were not worth much. Though Australian troops inflicted the first two defeats on Japanese troops in WWII at Milne Bay and Kakoda they were not as important as we make out today. Admiral King and the US Navy's strategy of 'island hopping' was brilliant even though both the British and MacArthur would have liked to have more land battles. It was intriguing to contrast Australia's defence plans against the Japanese plans in early 1942. Like the US, the Japanese knew that this would be a naval war. An excellent read though it might have scared most of the Australian Population in the Northern and Western sections of the country if read in early 1942. It's good that good history is written much later. An excellent read.

Gatton 4343



4.0 1


‘A mighty book. It’s a beautiful read’ - Paul Keating

‘As the prime minister who saw Australia through our darkest days, Curtin deserves to be remembered as the greatest’ - Julia Gillard

ISBN: 9780143791362
ISBN-10: 0143791362
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 29th October 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.6  x 5.0
Weight (kg): 0.8
Edition Number: 1