Mascot, Sydney and two boys grow to manhood in the depression and the war, bitter antagonists in love, law, religion and politics. One, an ascetic, outwardly conservative lawyer, is driven by deep passions that he tries but fails to suppress. He becomes chief justice of Australia. The other, a flamboyant, populist, Labor politician, also aspires to and reaches the heights of his profession.
The three women, central to their lives and rivalries, add erotic drama to this blockbuster that covers half a century of Australian politics. The self-righteous, political meddling by an Irish Sydney newspaper magnate in favour of the Liberal Party and by the Catholic Church in favour of the anticommunist Labor Party ensure a dynamic background of political power-struggles. There are dramatised insights into the Petrov spy commission, ASIO, the eras of Dr. Evatt and Prime Minister Menzies and an international loan scandal.
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