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Australians are more economically secure, yet existentially as anxious as ever. On the one hand we see a more prosperous, confident and "aspirational" society, and on the other the continuation of a well-cultivated sense of fear, xenophobia and insecurity.This dazzling essay analyses today's "bipolar nation". It revisits Donald Horne's Lucky Country, looks at the legacy of Paul Keating, and discusses how John Howard will set out to craft an election-winning strategy. It explains how the Lucky Country and the Frightened Country will be the two grand themes of the election, and in doing so sets the political agenda for 2007's election year.

Reviews

Hartcher tells us in his essay Bipolar Nation that Howard is playing the 2007 election like a shrewd game of bridge. Labor can put down as many policy aces as it likes between now and polling day, but if Howard wins in the end it will be because he holds all the trump cards.

Andrew Charlton

Peter Hartcher's essay is as elegant and erudite as its author

Bill Bowtell

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781863954013

    March 13, 2007

    Quarterly Essay

    84 pages

    RRP $14.95

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