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John Howard spent decades under media scrutiny, and while his credentials as a political leader, devoted family man and sports tragic are beyond dispute, in this autobiography he reveals much more about himself. In Lazarus Rising, Howard traces his personal and political journey, from childhood in the post-World War II era through to the present day, painting a fascinating picture of a changing Australia.
We see the youngster who had to overcome serious deafness and who latched onto the family passion for current affairs and politics. From school debating, to a legal career, to the Liberal Party and life with Janette, it all seemed such a natural progression. Yet no one would say that Howard had it easy; not when his own colleagues sidelined him . . . twice. An economic radical and social conservative, John Howard's ideology united many Australians and divided just as many others.
Long before he attained the role of prime minister, he first had to convince his fellow Liberals that he was the man they needed. To do that, he had to tough it out; it took several attempts and many years biding his time. When he finally got his turn to take on the ALP, he proved wrong all his doubters, and showed a whole nation that it had been a mistake ever to underestimate John Howard. He led the Liberal Party to victory in four elections and became the second-longest-serving PM in the nation's history.
Lazarus Rising is history seen through the eyes of the ultimate insider; an account of a 30-year political career. No prime minister of modern times has reshaped Australia and its place in the world as forcefully as John Howard. As part of his reform agenda he privatized Telstra, dismantled excessive union power and compulsory trade union membership, instituted the unpopular Goods and Services Tax, and established the ‘work for the dole' scheme.
Then there are the insights into political leadership and character, the stuff that drives history. Without his deep reserves of resilience - and the support of a strong wife and loving family - there would have been no Prime Minister John Howard walking the world stage. He tells us how he responded on issues vital to Australia, such as gun control, the aftermath of 9/11, Iraq and the rising tide of asylum-seekers. He also shares his thoughts on his former Treasurer and leadership aspirant, Peter Costello, and the Rudd-Gillard debate.
Lazarus Rising takes us through the life and motivations of John Howard and through the forces which have changed and shaped both him and the country he led for 11 years.
pointed to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organisations known as al Qaeda being responsible for the attack. He said they were some of the murderers indicted for bombing US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole. At this very early stage, when American anger was at a white-hot level, the President was careful to distinguish between terrorists obscenely using the Islamic religion and the mainstream of that religion’s adherents. He said, ‘The
case. Shortly afterwards, Tom Schieffer called on me with a bundle of intelligence material which reinforced the already firmly held belief that al Qaeda was responsible for the attack. On the basis of this and other intelligence material, I was as convinced as anyone could be in the circumstances that al Qaeda was to blame and that, absent full compliance with the President’s demands of 20 September, a military assault on their centre of operations in Afghanistan and, if necessary, elsewhere
Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist leaders. Australia and Indonesia also signed a memorandum of understanding on security, which further cemented the already close relations between the security agencies of the two countries. This arrangement was to be replicated with other countries in the region. The highlight of the post-Bali cooperation was, however, that between the two police forces which resulted in the capture and later conviction of those responsible for the Bali atrocity. The lasting
way that she and most others expected. Although the motion to remove me as deputy was carried, when John Moore and I nominated for the vacant position, I defeated Moore by 38 votes to 32. The outcome stunned me and many others. To this day, I believe a number of people who voted for me as deputy leader did so in the belief that I would continue working for Andrew Peacock as leader. They did not contemplate what was to follow immediately after this ballot. Peacock asked me and the other members
had done to our prospects in the 1987 election, I recognised the huge contribution he made to his state as Premier. At his state memorial service in Kingaroy, some 18 years later, on 3 May 2005, I said, ‘The reality nonetheless is that he made a massive contribution, a defining contribution, to the growth and the expansion of the state of Queensland.’ The ‘Joh for PM’ campaign had wrecked our chances of winning in 1987. I must acknowledge though that disunity in the Liberal Party helped create a