Rémy Davison reviews 'America Looks to Australia: The hidden role of Richard Casey in the creation of the Australia–America alliance, 1940–1942' by James Prior

Rémy Davison reviews 'America Looks to Australia: The hidden role of Richard Casey in the creation of the  Australia–America alliance, 1940–1942' by James Prior

America Looks to Australia: The hidden role of Richard Casey in the creation of the Australia–America alliance, 1940–1942

by James Prior

Australian Scholarly Publishing, $39.95 pb, 244 pp, 9781925588323

Duumvirates frequently dominate politics, irrespective of whether they are partners or rivals: Napoleon and Talleyrand; Nixon and Kissinger; Mao and Deng. But few second bananas survive history’s vicissitudes. A dwindling portion of the Australian public might still recognise the names of Robert Menzies and John Curtin, but one doubts whether anyone outside the field of diplomacy still recalls Richard Casey.

James Prior mounts a serious case for a re-evaluation of Casey’s influence upon the profound reorientation of US foreign policy throughout 1940–42. Australian historiography has traditionally accorded Curtin primacy in the forging of the American alliance. However, Prior delivers convincing evidence of Casey’s untiring efforts to convince Washington of the centrality of Australia as a ‘bridgehead and a base’ of operations.

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Published in April 2018, no. 400
Rémy Davidson

Rémy Davidson

Rémy Davison is Jean Monnet Chair in Politics and Economics at Monash University. He gained his Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Foreign Policies of the Great and Emerging Powers (2008), The Political Economy of Single Market Europe (2011), and co-author of The New Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific: Conflict and cooperation in the Asian century (2018). He covered the Eurozone crisis for The Conversation throughout 2011–15. He regularly advises governments on trade, security, industry and monetary policy issues. His forthcoming book is The Political Economy of the Eurozone Crises.