Welcome to the October issue! Our commentary material continues to grow. This month we have four major features on issues of great moment: race and the US presidential election; the pandemic and political freedom; and Twitter and cancel culture. Michael L. Ondaatje reflects on Trump’s failed courtship of black voters. Timothy J. Lynch reviews three scathing books about Trump and finds them equally wanting in terms of any explanations for Trump’s political predominance. Journalist Johanna Leggatt laments the threat posed by Twitter to the work, freedom, and reputations of journalists and writers. Finally, Paul Muldoon – in our cover piece – looks at the relationship between freedom and security and the complexities of the Victorian government’s response to the pandemic. We also review new novels by Ali Smith, Gail Jones and Steven Conte. Jane Sullivan considers Alex Miller’s memoir of Max. And Richard Fidler is our Open Page subject!