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Patrick Mullins wins NSW Premier’s Literary Award

We are thrilled to announce that Patrick Mullins has won the Douglas Stewart prize for non-fiction at this year’s New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for his book Tiberius with a Telephone: the life and times of William McMahon.

The judges said:

This is an impressive work of political biography, an achievement all the greater for its unpromising, though fascinatingly complex, subject. Tiberius with a Telephone is distinguished by the author’s confident, witty style and his willingness to stand back and let his subject speak for himself. Mullins’ ability to deliver acerbic sketches of the major players of postwar Australian politics is a rare gift. In McMahon himself he has created one of the great comic characters of Australian history.

Tiberius with a Telephone

The oddly compelling story of a man regarded as Australia’s worst prime minister.

William McMahon was a significant, if widely derided and disliked, figure in Australian politics in the second half of the twentieth century. This biography tells the story of his life, his career, and his doomed attempts to recast views of his much-maligned time as Australia’s prime minister.

After a long ministerial career under Menzies, McMahon became treasurer under Harold Holt, and fought a fierce, bitter war over protectionism with John McEwen. Following Holt’s death in 1967, McEwen had his revenge by vetoing…

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Patrick Mullins

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based academic and writer. He has a PhD…

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Tiberius with a Telephone

Patrick Mullins

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