His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon

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Auckland University Press, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 545 pages
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Robert Muldoon was Prime Minister of New Zealand for eight and a half years (1975-1984) and Minister of Finance for fifteen years (1967-72 and 1975-84) during one of the most difficult periods in the country's history. He was the dominant figure in New Zealand's political life over the last half century and one of its most controversial and divisive politicians. This major 'authorised' biography has occupied Professor Gustafson for ten years; it has been extensively researched and long awaited. From the opening chapters with their revealing account of Muldoon's childhood, His Way is gripping reading and will be of wide interest. The chapters on the calling of the 1984 election and on the currency crisis immediately after the election, for example, break new ground. Gustafson's view of Muldoon is fair and tolerant without either anger or sentimentality. It sees him as a champion of ordinary people, a skilled politician determined to preserve the world he had inherited, and an autocratic leader whose vision over time became anachronistic and inflexible. His Way is also, and inevitably, a picture of the changing political landscape from the 1940s to the 1980s, turbulent times very different from the years of depression and war in which Muldoon grew up and which so powerfully shaped his values and perspectives. The book is based on many hours of conversation with Muldoon himself and on interviews with political colleagues, civil servants, family and friends; it is rich with telling detail and revealing anecdote. Gustafoson's masterly biography provides for the first time a detached and detailed assessment of an extraordinary political figure.
 

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User Review  - bevok - LibraryThing

A good book, well researched, detailed and readable. A good assessment of the man although as with Gustafson's Holyoake biography a little more critical analysis, and the impressions of those who were in opposition to him would have been valuable. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Family and Childhood
17
School and Church
27
War and Work
35
The Junior Nationals and Marriage
45
The Mount Albert 1954
54
The MP for Tamaki 196063
64
The UnderSecretary 196366
81
Economic Restructuring and Think Bigafter 1978
262
The ColonelsCoup 1980
290
The Springbok Tour and the 1981 Election
309
Third World Debt the Clyde Dam the Quigley Affair
322
Unions Consumers and Finance Houses
343
The 1984 Election
362
The PostElection Currency Crisis
384
Muldoon McLay
398

Minister of Finance 196769
92
The End of the Holyoake Era 196972
115
In Opposition 197275
131
The 1975 Election
152
Power Personality and Political Process
173
SIS Abortion the Moyle Affair and the GovernorGeneral
192
Foreign Policy and Overseas Trade 197578
214
National Superannuation and Restoring New Zealands
237
Court Cases Radio Pacific and the 1987 Election
423
The Global Economic Action Institute and the 1990 Election
436
Mr Speaker I Say Goodbye
450
Notes
472
Bibliography
523
Index
541
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About the author (2000)

Barry Gustafson is a former professor of political studies at the University of Auckland. He was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2004 for his services to political science and historical research. He is the author of "His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon,"

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