Tiberius with a Telephone by Patrick Mullins

Thursday November 22nd, 6pm

Tiberius with a Telephone by Patrick Mullins

Book Launch

Join us for the launch of Tiberius with a Telephone: the life and stories of William McMahon by Patrick Mullins

The book will be launched by Matthew Ricketson 



or phone 6295 6723

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 McMahon's candidature for the Liberal Party's leadership, and thus paved the way for John Gorton to become prime minister. But almost three years later, amid acrimony and division, McMahon would topple Gorton and fulfill his life's ambition to become Australia's prime minister.

A man whose life was coloured by tragedy, comedy, persistence, courage, farce, and failure, McMahon's story has never been told at length. Tiberius with a Telephone fills that gap, using deep archival research and extensive interviews with McMahon's contemporaries and colleagues. It is a tour de force - an authoritative and colourful account of a unique politician and a vital period in Australia's history.

Patrick Mullins is a Canberra-based writer and academic who holds a PhD from the University of Canberra. He was the inaugural Donald Horne Fellow at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, and was a research fellow at the Museum of Australian Democracy. His early, brief version of this book won the 2015 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers. 


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