In the months following his resignation as PM in late August 1941, Robert Menzies swayed between relief at his release from the burdens of office and despair that his life at the top had come to so little. In 1941, after two tumultuous years as prime minister and in the midst of war, an anguished Robert Menzies stepped down. This was despite the fact that he had led an efficient war-time administration and had strongly advanced Australia's security interests in Britain. Few would have predicted that by the end of 1949 Menzies would again be Prime Minister, heading the new Liberal Party of Australia and a political hero himself. How did a shattered, defeated man go on to become Australia's longest serving prime minister? In this original and insightful book about Menzies' 1939-41 government and his so-called wilderness years, Anne Henderson shows how he did it. She reveals that this period was in fact a personal triumph for Menzies as he remade not only himself but renewed conservative politics in Australia.
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