A NEW book by Nationals Senate Leader and proud Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie – who hails from Leongatha – provides a contemporary interpretation of John McEwen, who she said was one of Australia’s most important political leaders.

Senator McKenzie’s book ‘John McEwen: right man, right place, right time’ was recently launched at Australia Parliament House by esteemed political journalist and commentator Paul Kelly, editor-at-large for The Australian.

“The then leader of the federal Country Party is widely known as our care-taker Prime Minister following the disappearance of Harold Holt in 1967. He was also Australia’s most significant and longest-serving Minister for Trade,” Senator McKenzie said.

“His policies – ‘McEwenism’ – forged Australia’s post-World War II economic boom which ushered in an era of unprecedented full employment and prosperity.

“His contribution across 37 years is unparalleled, assisting in building a modern first world economy and established Australia as an independent, sovereign power.

“Despite his achievements, McEwen rarely features in economics, international relations or political science lectures. Is that because he was from the Country Party, or simply because he was from the country?”

Paul Kelly said the book was “highly readable”.

“I salute Bridget’s project, bringing McEwen out of the shadows and into the sunlight. Black Jack deserves it,” he said.

“Bridget provides a compelling account of the extraordinary McEwen-Billy McMahon political warfare that involved ASIO, the police and warring newspaper companies. Anybody who thinks our current politics are turbulent should read these passages.”

Buy the book here.