Fridays With Jim
By David Cohen
A former New Zealand Prime Minister candidly reviews his life and state of the nation.
A self-taught son of Irish immigrants, devout Catholic, rough-hewn King Country farmer and farming lobbyist, Jim Bolger entered New Zealand political life in the 1970s. He was a flinty Minister of Labour under Robert Muldoon and Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997. As ambassador to Washington, he helped create warmer relations with the United States. In recent years, he has chaired boards, served as the chancellor of the University of Waikato and marked more than a half-century of marriage to Joan, with whom he has nine children. Never given to orthodoxies, yet staunchly National in his politics, in his still-energetic eighties he remains an impressively brisk progressive thinker.