Update: Week in Review

Week in review 15 August 2014: political memoirs

Written in response to:

15 August 2014: political memoirs

Rachel Morley writes ‘2014 has been something of a watershed year for books on Australian politics’.

I am interested to see the word ‘watershed’ used in a vague sense such as Meg Greenfield noted in US political usage 40 or 45 years ago. Even there, though, the Americans preserved a sense of crossing a divide, and passing from one watershed to another. Without knowing what books on Australian politics were published in 2013, I can’t guess whether Ms. Morley finds that they have changed, or are just plentiful; but I suspect the latter.

But we are currently facing something of an armada – to steal a phrase from the popular media – of political memoirs and biographies.

An armada that cannot shed water is in trouble. I think that I would leave the popular media in peaceable enjoyment of their phrase, or failing that, pray for a Protestant wind.

George Jansen
Washington DC

Published August 19, 2014