Manning Clark was one of the most influential Australian intellectuals of the last half century. His political pronouncements were often highly provocative and his sweeping judgements, dire denunciations and oracular prophecies infuriated conservatives and made him a controversial figure. His most enduring legacy, however, was his magisterial six-volume History of Australia. In it he reshaped the now familiar story of Australia's modern evolution. Within the dramatic narrative, which he envisaged as an epic, are highly original and insightful portraits of its great men with their tragic flaws: Phillip, Macquarie, Burke and Wills, Bligh, Wentworth, and above all Henry Lawson. That is the complex, enigmatic and thoroughly enthralling Clark who emerges in this remarkable biography by Brian Matthews.