Paradise Divided: The Changes, the Challenges, the Choices for Australia

By Paul Kelly | Go to book overview

TIME TO RECONSIDER THE
MANY FACES OF MENZIES

Leadership is persuasion … If I were to rate one postwar leader even above the others, it would not be one of the legendary European or American figures. It would be Robert Menzies.

—Former US president Richard Nixon

HE IS JOHN Howard's hero, the slayer of Labor's dreams, the hate figure for our intellectuals, a caricature as the Queen's man, an utter spellbinder as a performer and our most successful politician.

The huge inescapable figure of R.G. Menzies dominates our past but baffles our comprehension. There is little agreement about Menzies 105 years after his birth, 60 years after he first became prime minister and 33 years since his departure. Is Menzies a national embarrassment or a supreme political artist of the century?

His career of promise, success, rejection, reappraisal, defeat and then sustained victory offers conflicting interpretations. Menzies won seven elections, a Bradmanesque record never likely to be equalled. Labor had only one resort: to de-legitimise the man and his legacy. Paul Keating continued this campaign into the 1990s knowing that destroying Menzies' reputation is the key to discrediting the Coalition tradition.

The second volume of Allan Martin's biography of Menzies completes the most authoritative account of our most dominant

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Paradise Divided: The Changes, the Challenges, the Choices for Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Introduction vii
  • Part I - Snapshots *
  • Australia in the Global Economy 5
  • Bill Clinton and American Democracy 11
  • The Common Man as Prime Minister 20
  • Tony Blair's Third Way 23
  • The Forgotten Centenary 28
  • Coffee with Gough 33
  • Howard Florey, Our Tallest Poppy 40
  • Australia, Indonesia and East Timor 44
  • What the Republic Needs 50
  • Liberty and Equality 53
  • Part II - The Coalition in Power *
  • Peter Costello, a Politician in Waiting 61
  • In Search of the Real John Howard 72
  • A Profile of Tim Fischer 83
  • Paul Hasluck on an Earlier Liberal Age 94
  • Time to Reconsider the Many Faces of Menzies 101
  • Part III - The Mood of the 1990s *
  • The Culture of the 1990s 109
  • The Myth of Australia as a Torn Nation 118
  • Values and the Constitution 122
  • Tariffs, a False Move 126
  • Can Democracy Survive? 130
  • Australia and Kyoto 136
  • Reconciliation, So Close Yet So Far 140
  • Hanson, a Symptom of a Deeper Problem 142
  • Howard's Mandate 154
  • Labor and the New Agendas 157
  • Paul Keating 160
  • Part IV - The International Scene *
  • The American Miracle 171
  • The East Timor Legacy 176
  • Tony Blair 184
  • The Indonesian Tragedy 193
  • An Uncertain Future 208
  • Fools on the Hill 211
  • Part V - The Constitution, the Republic and the Dismissal *
  • Towards the Republic 217
  • An Interview with Prince Charles 223
  • The Dismissal Twenty Years on 227
  • The 1998 Constitutional Convention 244
  • Result of the Vote 252
  • Part VI - Immigration and Multiculturalism *
  • The Disguised Death of White Australia 259
  • Immigration in Retreat 263
  • Multiculturalism, Can the Slogan Endure? 268
  • Part VII - The Year 2000 *
  • National Disgrace 275
  • Index 281
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