Friday, July 8, 2011

Evatt: A life by Peter Crockett.

Evatt: A life by Peter Crockett.  Hardcover published by Oxford University Press 1993.

The political biography is a strange beast.  A popular politician will have any number of biographies and/or autobiographies lining the shelves of those that are interested in that sort of thing.  Apparently the current Australian prime minister is a bit of a fan of the political biography. This makes me wonder if she uses them as instruction manuals or is it more of a casual entertainment?  For whatever reason, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this particular title is sitting on her shelf… possibly well thumbed and in a used condition. 

Herbert Vere Evatt, also known as Doc Evatt, was a major Labour politician here in Australia in the twentieth century.  He was also the leader of the Labour party in opposition for nine years, never quite making it to the big chair.  He did various other things as well including: jurist, writer and he was President of the United Nations General Assembly (…Kevin Rudd may have this book as well).  I won’t go into all the interesting things that this guy did, but let me say he was a very interesting man and deserves a book (or two) to be written about him. 

A few years ago I had another copy of this biography and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was worth a few $$$ and indeed it sold with very little effort.  Recently I listed this particular copy on ebay to no avail.  Yep, no sale… indeed no interest at all. (Sellers can tell how many people have looked at a book, in this instance 5, and how many people are watching a book… there were none).  So I’m still scratching my head over this one.  The book is still worth a few $ on the www.  It hasn’t lost its value.  I get the feeling that Doc Evatt may have been forgotten as other politicians take centre stage in Australian political history (?).

One possible answer is that everyone who wants a copy, has it.  Labour party numbers are dropping and I guess Julia and Kevin already have their copies … What I need to happen is for the party numbers and therefore interest in the Labour party and its history to increase.  This book may be on my shelf for a while.

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