In God They Trust?
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About "In God They Trust?"
Most of Australia's leaders since Federation believed in God. Some were serious Christians and very few were indifferent towards religion. In this timely and original book, Roy Williams examines the spiritual life of each of our Prime Ministers from Edmund Barton to Julia Gillard. He explores the ways in which, for good and ill, their beliefs (or agnosticism) shaped the history and development of the nation. Featuring extensive interviews with John Howard and Kevin Rudd, and pulling no punches, IN GOD THEY TRUST? will appeal to voters across party lines and excite plenty of debate among believers and non-believers alike.
Meet the Author
One of Australia's emerging public intellectuals and writers, Roy Williams' distinguished 20-year career in the legal profession was cut short in 2004 when he experienced a life-changing illness. Forced to leave the law, he took time to recuperate before deciding to become a writer. His book reviews appear regularly in The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. He also contributes to Australian Literary Review, Dissent and Inside Sport, he recently authored God Actually.
Customer Reviews For "In God They Trust?"Write Your Own Review
This book is well researched and presents much in the way of historical facts and statements as to the beliefs of our former Prime Ministers. From a historical perspective I enjoyed this work. However, the author often paints with an extremely broad brush. What actually makes a Christian is left undefined; it appears that the author looks for any vague reference to God, Jesus, Bible etc. then concludes that a Prime Minister must have been a Christian (despite the fact that the PM may be a drunk, an adulterer, supporter of abortion and homosexuality etc.) The author clearly has a leftist and socialist view, with him being very critical and often questioning the Christianity of those who disagree with him in these areas. He also takes a liberal view of Scripture with his denial of homosexuality being a sin. If this book had focused solely on the history I would have given it 5-stars, but due to the horrible commentary, I must give it 2-stars.
A thoroughly readable and thoroughly researched survey of the influence of Christianity on the lives and careers of each of Australia's Prime Ministers. The author's love of politics, history and theology permeates the book. The author's basic thesis is that "Christianity has played a positive role in shaping Australia's broadly egalitarian ethos" and that this has largely occurred through its influence on a majority of our Prime Ministers. Most interesting are his eight broad categories of Prime Ministers, such as the Ardent Seekers, the Righteous Straighteners, the More-Than-Tribal Catholics, the Enigmatic Presbyterians and the Fellow Travellers. Also interesting, and somewhat surprising, is his conclusion about who were the best Christian Prime Ministers. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on our recent PMs, including the nicely balanced chapters on two overtly Christian, yet very different PMs who granted the author interviews, Rudd and Howard. But I was also very interested in the chapters on our post war PMs, whose lives and careers are sketched out and placed in historical context. The book is also a good historical account for those, like me, who knew very little about our early political history. This includes not only the PMs themselves, but some of the great political issues, such as conscription, immigration, war, and the funding of private Catholic schools. Overall highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Australian politics.