Skip Navigation
Online Bookstore Book Supplements Newsletter Subscription For Academics For Bookshops For Authors About Us JournalsHolt Prize

The Premiers of New South Wales 1856-2005

Volume 1-2 (set)

Edited by David Clune and Ken Turner


This authoritative two-volume work contains biographies of the 13 Colonial Premiers to 1901 and the 26 State Premiers in the 20th century, up to and including Bob Carr.

The portraits are detailed, scholarly and entertaining. Each has a real depth of scholarship while remaining sufficiently concise to satisfy those seeking a quick overview of particular periods or facets of NSW political history.

In Volume One, the authors include acknowledged experts on 19th century Australia such as John Bennett, Geoffrey Bolton, Alan Powell and Martha Rutledge.

In Volume Two, authors include, as well as distinguished scholars, practitioners of politics. Rodney Cavalier uses his Cabinet diaries to provide a fascinating, insider’s account of the premiership of Barrie Unsworth. Graham Freudenberg writes with insight and lucidity of Neville Wran.

Sesquicentenary 1856-2006 Responsible Government in New South Wales   A NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government publication.



... And while to my considerable disappointment I find that I am the only NSW Premier not to have a chapter in the book devoted to me, I hope this excellent history will enjoy wide readership. I commend also the outstanding history of this Parliament by David Clune and Gareth Griffith, published by The Federation Press. Dr Clune and Dr Griffith are well known to honourable members as historians and respected members of the senior staff of the Parliamentary Library. Professor Turner is an honorary research associate at the Department of Government at the University of Sydney. I congratulate them on their monumental achievement. ...

Morris Iemma, Premier of NSW, 22 May 2006

An invaluable addition to the reference library of anyone concerned with NSW state politics over the past 150 years.

Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 92(1), June 2006

The chapters combine personal biography with a focus on agents of political socialisation,with an assessment of the leaders’ time in parliament. This provides something of a history of NSW politics since, in the 39 lives and careers, reflections of the society surrounding them can be seen. Many of the chapters are written in a lively and readable style, making this collection welcome to those outside the field but interested in the stories that make up the political culture of Australia’s most populous state. Even for a non-resident of NSW these volumes make for interesting reading as the contributors trace patterns and trends through politics, and leadership specifically, over the past 150 years.

Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 52 (3), Sept 2006

An important addition to the State’s political heritage.

Law Society Journal (NSW), Vol 44/6, July 2006

Much of the information is useful and undoubtedly interesting … perhaps its greatest interest for the non-specialist reader will be the extent to which the premiers’ lives reflect changes occurring in New South Wales society … It is possible to trace the origins of the political values with which John Howard and the New South Wales Liberals have re-emerged after almost a century of Deakinite protection as far back as Reid, Waddell and Carruthers.
The highlights of the later part of the 20th century are David Clune on Joe Cahill and Ian Hancock on Bob Askin. … Cahill’s maiden speech in 1925 addressed to Fuller’s Nationalists might be a contemporary message: “ You regard those whom you employ in your workshops as mere pieces of machinery … Your experience only reaches as far as your office, where you sit in the midst of luxury.” For Askin, Hancock has carefully surveyed the available evidence … Although Askin’s political achievements were impressive and he had the common touch, … he was not himself attractive.

Australian Historical Studies, Vol 128, 2006


Published 16 January 2006
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862875494
Australian RRP $59.95
International Price $55.00
currency converter

Out of print

Government / Political Studies
Australian History / Studies

NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government

        BACK TO TOP