Andrew Fisher: An underestimated man

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Hoping to set the record straight, this biography asks why one of Australia's greatest reformers has sunk into obscurity. Calling for a reevaluation of Andew Fisher's career, the discussion reveals the skill with which he led the Australian Labor Party in its early years and the political will he demonstrated as prime minister in three separate Australian governments leading up to World War I. Fisher's role as high commissioner in London during the war is also given careful attention. Throughout his long political career, Andrew Fisher's opponents frequently discounted him, and historians have also downplayed his performance, believing him to be an ineffective wartime prime minister and high commissioner in London. InAndrew Fisher: An Underestimated Man, Peter Bastian has written a remarkable account of the life and times of one of Australia's greatest reformers. It is impossible to overstate just how much Fisher contributed to the national development of Australia and its political culture-he was responsible for the creation of the navy, the funding arrangements of the federal government with the states, the creation of a national currency, the Commonwealth Bank, the transcontinental railway, the establishment of Canberra, and the maternity allowance. By the time Fisher left office in 1915, the Commonwealth government was a far more important and powerful body than ever before, and this work reveals a man whose legacy of reforms and national development has shaped the country we live in today.


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