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For the True Believers: Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History edited by Troy Bramston

Reviewed by
December 2013–January 2014, no. 357
For the True Believers

For the True Believers: Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History

edited by Troy Bramston

The Federation Press, $64.95 hb, 480 pp, 9781862878310

For the True Believers: Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History edited by Troy Bramston

Reviewed by
December 2013–January 2014, no. 357
‘Well may we say “God Save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Governor-General.’

Gough Whitlam’s famous words during his impromptu speech after the Dismissal in 1975 remain a potent symbol of the excitements and turbulence of the Whitlam era. As Troy Bramston’s collection of ALP speeches since 1891 reminds us, political speeches can capture a national mood or sentiment at a particular time in history. Indeed, a carefully crafted set of words can become a treasured part of our national self-image. They can also boost or destroy a politician’s reputation. In an age when the media has become uncritically obsessed with gaffes, Twitter banalities, polls, and sound bites, it is worth remembering that a good speech can elevate the national conversation and appeal to our better instincts.

For the True Believers

For the True Believers: Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History

edited by Troy Bramston

The Federation Press, $64.95 hb, 480 pp, 9781862878310

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