100 Years: The Australian story by Paul Kelly

by
April 2001, no. 229

100 Years: The Australian story by Paul Kelly

Allen & Unwin, $29.95 pb, 279 pp

100 Years: The Australian story by Paul Kelly

by
April 2001, no. 229

Paul Kelly is the most influential Australian political journalist of the past twenty-five years. There was a time when Kelly was merely the most perceptive chronicler of the nation’s political life, a worthy successor to Alan Reid. With the publication of his most celebrated book, The End of Certainty, he became something rather different: a highly significant player on the national stage. The End of Certainty told the story of party politics in the 1980s. More importantly, it insinuated a powerful argument in favour of the dismantling of the distinctive interventionist economic arrangements that had been established after Federation: protectionism, centralised industrial arbitration and financial regulation.

Kelly moved from The End of Certainty to the editorship of the Australian. He used this position strategically, as a means of supporting the fundamental vision of the Keating prime ministership – Australia as a deregulated, free-market economy with a generous welfare safety net, reshaped in its culture by the ideas of multiculturalism, Aboriginal reconciliation and the republic. Together, before their different falls from grace, Pauls Keating and Kelly were a formidable Irish-Australian double act.

Robert Manne reviews '100 Years: The Australian story' by Paul Kelly

100 Years: The Australian story

by Paul Kelly

Allen & Unwin, $29.95 pb, 279 pp

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