Nugget Coombs: A Reforming Life

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Born in 1906, H.C. Coombs is best known as the governor of the Australian central bank, but the extent of his activities and his commitment to public life until his death is unsurpassed. Tim Rowse traces Coombs' life from his childhood in Western Australia to his many roles as policy maker, change agent, advocate and adviser. Covering Coombs' life from birth to death, this book provides intriguing insights into the life of one of Australia's most influential citizens.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rowse has provided a definitive and accomplished account of Nugget Coombs' public persona and in so doing has managed to convey an integrating theme linking some of the most significant and formative events in Australia's modern history." Pacific Affairs, John Lea, University of Sydney, Australia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521817837
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2002
  • Pages: 430
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Rowse is a Senior Research Fellow, History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Learning and Teaching: 1. Childhood and youth; 2. Schooling; 3. Self-possession; 4. Busselton; 5. Claremont; 6. Wheat belt days; 7. Night student; 8. Finding the words; 9. Representing; 10. Murdoch; Part II. Liberalism's Crisis: 11. LSE student; 12. Politics v. economics; 13. The money power and its critics; 14. Poor Britain; Part III. The Experts we Need: 15. A vacancy?; 16. The economists; 17. From people's bank to central bank; 18. Sweden and Australia; Part IV. New Orders: 19. Trusting the people; 20. Reconstruction and feminism; 21. Fighting for 'yes'; 22. Soldiers and workers; Part V. Internationalist: 23. Labor's new internationalism; 24. The diplomacy of security; 25. Success in London; 26. Global temptations; 27. Geneva; 28. Havana; 29. An official community; 30. Coombs the Keynesian; Part VI. From Labor to Liberal: 31. Chifley's 'family'; 32. The commanding heights?; 33. The Cold War and CSIRO; 34. Vice Chancellor?; 35. Reconstructing Papua New Guinea; 36. Governor and father; 37. Chifley's man; 38. Menzies' man?; 39. Corporate Elizabethan; Part VII. Other People's Money: 40. Inflation and war; 41. Wage earners' democracy; 42. Horror budget; 43. The Governor muted; 44. Stern mentor?; 45. Coombs as boss; 46. Carrots and sticks; 47. Women at the bank; 48. A culture of inflation; 49. Separation; 50. A Melanesian way?; 51. Poor man's overdraft; 52. Frustrated internationalist; Part VIII. Managing Creativity: 53. Reasonable liberty; 54. Visualising Australia; 55. Nuclear matters; 56. Opera; 57. Ballet; 58. In search of an audience; 59. Re-designing Australia; Part IX. Labor's Second Chance: 60. Retirement; 61. Whitlam conscripts Coombs; 62. Trade reform; 63. Two cultural constituencies; 64. Wages and taxes; Part X. Rethink: 65. The stuffed owl of Minerva; 66. Nature and human nature; 67. Economies and communities; 68. Losing the master key; 69. The responsive public servant; Part XI. Elite Outrider: 70. Torres Strait; 71. Conservation and Aborigines; 72. Bapa Dhumbul; Conclusion: histories nostalgic and hopeful.

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