This the only authorized biography of New Zealand’s prime minister, Robert Muldoon—one of the dominant political figures of the last half-century in that country. Based on many hours of conversation with Muldoon himself as well as colleagues, friends, and family, and wide access to the prime minister’s official and private papers and diaries, this book has been awarded the Ian Wards Prize for published historical writing. Muldoon is shown as a champion of the ordinary people whose vision over time became anachronistic and inflexible. The book is also a fascinating picture of New Zealand’s changing political landscape from the 1940s to the 1980s.
The definitive life story of New Zealand Prime Minister “Kiwi” Keith Holyoake is revealed in this deftly composed exploration of how one man was able to weather complex changes in society to stay in power for more than 11 years. Through his leadership in the 1960s to his position as Governor General in the late 1970s, Holyoake was often derided as pompous and unprincipled, but this biography demonstrates the astute understanding of people and political issues that allowed him to defuse division and preserve order while encouraging gradual and incremental progress. Holyoake’s performance as Minister of Foreign Affairs is also examined, including his opposition to nuclear testing and his reluctant commitment to assisting the United States in Vietnam.