Review: Exit Right

Cover of Quarterly Essay: Exit Right

Quarterly Essay has provided me with plenty of in-depth analysis over the last couple of years, and Judith Brett’s “Exit Right: the unravelling of John Howard” is no exception.

Brett presents Howard’s downfall through the prism of the “Strong Leader”, one of three leadership types put forward by political psychologist Graham Little. (The others are the Group Leader and the Inspiring Leader.) Howard failed, Brett says, because his leadership style was ill-suited to the political environment of 2007.

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Poll Dancing: a first impression

Cover of Poll Dancing by Mungo MacCallum

Having read Mungo MacCallum‘s acidic commentary on the federal election in Crikey, I was eager to read his newly-released “campaign diary” Poll Dancing: the story of the 2007 election. The first sentence tells me I’m in for a great time:

One morning in his tenth year as prime minister, John Winston Howard awoke in the master bedroom of Kirribilli House to realise that he had become not only omnipotent but invincible.

Ah, Mungo! I think I’ll be spending a relaxed Christmas afternoon with you, once I’ve finished reading Judith Brett’s Quarterly Essay, “Exit Right: the unravelling of John Howard”. Yes, I’m making sure I learn the lessons that are to be learned.

One hint to Black Inc Books, though. Please provide an obvious permanent link to your current titles, so the links I’ve just created won’t need to be edited down the track.