Barry Donovan

Robert Manne’s analysis of John Howard’s memoir (‘Man of Wood’, December 2010–January 2011) left out one key point: Howard may have repeatedly taken the totally cynical approach to important issues, and he may have practised lowest common denominator politics, but for many years he cunningly took the Australian electorate with him. Howard’s lengthy survival as PM says as much about many Australian voters as it does about Howard himself (the Labor Opposition of the day helped, but that is a separate issue). The continuing appeal that Howard has for many Australians is shown in the huge sales of his memoir, which remained on the national bestseller lists for weeks. Once, only small ‘l’ liberals apparently bought political books – Lazarus has not only risen but also marched out of bookshops.

Barry Donovan

Brunswick, VIC


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