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Something isn’t quite right on the cover of John Edward’s new book, John Curtin’s War.

At the Lowy Institute on Monday, the first volume of a new biography was launched by former Prime Minister Paul Keating with a speech about Curtin, praising him for predicting the threat Japan posed before and during the Second World War, and called Robert Menzies a coward for failing to respond to the threat.

But it wasn’t until Edwards rose afterwards for his short address that the elephant in the room was mentioned.

“Thanks to Ben Ball of Penguin,” Edwards said. “I mean, what a splendid production … especially the cover. Completely uncluttered. Ben, the fact that my name is not the front is not … you can go to the back, it’s on the back. You can find it there if you look for it.”

Indeed, the printed edition of the book does not carry the author’s name at all on its front cover.  Pictured here is a copy of the book sent to Crikey offices.


The omission has been rectified for online versions of the front cover, with Edwards’ name now appearing under the title of the book.

The book’s publisher, Penguin, did not respond to Crikey‘s request for comment on the reason for the omission.

Peter Fray

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