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‘Friendship is a sheltering tree’: John Curtin’s letters 1907 to 1945

Author David Black, political commentator and author, provides a sensitive presentation of John Curtin’s most intimate letters, placing the correspondence within three distinct periods of Curtin’s life and setting the letters within finely rendered historical and personal contexts.

For the first time the letters chronicling the personal story of Curtin’s five year courtship with Elsie, previously only revealed in fragments, have now been published in full.

In addition to the letters to his wife, the book includes correspondence to colleagues, close friends and political allies, providing revealing insights into a man who gave all that he had to life and improving the lot of his fellow human beings and for whom love and affection remained constant from beginning to end.

Published by the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library.

ISBN 1 74067 040 X, pb., illus. $23.00 plus postage. Order online.

John Curtin’s legacy: A series of public lectures from the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library

This book features the speeches delivered during the first three years of public programs at the John Curtin Prime ministerial Library. The distinguished lecturers include David Day, Michelle Grattan, Hazel Hawke, Geoffrey Serle and Gough Whitlam, discussing a range of issues from political democracy to the power of the press.

The book also features John Curtin’s own words selected from his editorial writings between 1917 and 1932 and drawn from the collection of the JCPML.

Published by the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library .

ISBN 1 86342 8577, pb., illus. To request a copy, please contact the JCPML.

In his own words: John Curtin’s speeches and writings

Edited and narrated by David Black

‘…brooding, lonely man’
‘he was…what might be called a crying drunk’
‘…a forgotten hero’
‘He was the great of the Earth.’

Epithets to Australia’s World War II Prime Minister, John Curtin, are resonant of the enigma he represents for historians, soldiers and fellow socialists alike.

The story of Curtin’s rise from humble origins to lead his country at a time of crisis is the stuff of which heroes are made. Using Curtin’s writings and speeches, editor and narrator David Black offers a rare insight into the life of the young socialist agitator and avowed pacifist who rose to unify and govern Australia in its time of greatest peril. Illustrated with fifty photographs and contemporary cartoons, In His Own Words also traces the history of the labour movement in Australia to which Curtin devoted the greater part of his life.

David Black, as Professor in History and Politics at Curtin University of Technology, has lectured and written extensively on Australian and Western Australian history and politics. He is also a regular media commentator on electoral and current political affairs.

Published by Paradigm Books Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, 1995. ISBN 1 86342 422 9. OUT OF PRINT.

For Australia and Labor: Prime Minister John Curtin

By Geoffrey Serle

This book on John Curtin provides a glimpse into the life and times of Australia’s wartime prime minister by distinguished historian, author and Curtin biographer, Dr Geoffrey Serle, AO. His books have won several presitgious awards including the Age Book of the Year.

For Australia and Labor: Prime Minister John Curtin contains photographs drawn from the JCPML’s collection, several of which have rarely been seen. The book also contains a helpful glossary of names, a list of further reading and an index.

Published by John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, 1998, pb, illus. ISBN 1 86342 655 8. To request a copy, please contact the JCPML.

More about Geoffrey Serle