The Longest Decade
Scribe, $29.95 pb, 410 pp
In a recent column in the Australian, George Megalogenis looked back to Arthur Fadden’s budget of 1952 as a possible comparison with the current financial situation. Few political scientists, let alone journalists, display this sort of historical memory. In 2006, Megalogenis published The Longest Decade, an account of the combined years of Paul Keating and Howard, based upon extensive interviews with the two leaders. The book was reviewed in ABR by Neal Blewett (November 2006), who regarded the book as a useful ‘bullshit detector’ on his newspaper colleagues, whose political journalism appeared in The Howard Factor that same year.
Now that the Howard factor is no more, Megalogenis has revised his book to bring it up to the 2007 federal election, and to place the two leaders in perspective. The longest decade now spans the sixteen years of ‘our longest boom’. ‘Between them, Keating and Howard changed Australia,’ writes Megalogenis. ‘Yet for each reform they imposed, the nation snapped back, forcing them to adapt before dismissing them both.’