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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, May 02, 2005

Telling it straight

Former leader of the Australian Labor Party and potential Prime Minister, Mark Latham, is publishing his memoirs. After a vigorous bidding war, Melbourne University Press (MUP) will be releasing the diaries in October. Promising vitriol against Labor and the media, Latham's book has been described by MUP CEO Louise Adler as, "an intoxicating cocktail" and "letters from the trenches".

$150,000 is the rumoured price for the work, although this figure is unconfirmed. I've never been a strong supporter of Latham or the Labor party, but a tell-all memoir may be just what the party needs to shock it out of its entrenched conservatism. We can only hope.

(Disclosure: MUP is publishing my book on the Israel/Palestine conflict in 2006.)


Blogger syed-m said...

Good stuff, look forward to reading your book. Better hurry up and get it published though. From what I read, peace may well have broken out throughout the region before the end of the year. Joke.

Yeah Latham was a major media exaggeration. Not sure the memoirs will be all that useful from a social justice standpoint. My predication is that they will, as usual, focus on the messengers over the message. That is, the memoirs will play the personality politics game rather than adequately address the social issues that shape our country. Still, Latham may yet become the poster child for quick-fix politics. An emblem of that very contemporary expectation that everything (including incumbency) be delivered in a relatively short period of time. One of his successor's greatest strengths, apart from a teflon-like mediocrity, is that old-school politician sense of patient endurance. That's a professional skill that Latham lacked. That's why he's no longer in the house on the hill.

Monday, May 02, 2005 11:55:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I hope that Latham actually seriously examines the problems within the ALP. Personality politics are guaranteed, sadly, I suspect you're right. Beazley may well win the next election, simply because he's Howard-lite. Anybody who thinks otherwise, should remember his time as Defence Minister. God help us.
As for my book, well, yes, peace is just over the corner, I agree (!). Early 2006 is the release date. With or without the Gaza pull-out, Israel's activity continues to disturb. A true Palestinian state? Sure thing, when I'm 64...

Monday, May 02, 2005 12:09:00 pm  
Blogger Flute said...

Which book do you reckon will sell more?

Don't catch Bahnishitis with the blog or that publishing date will slip to 2007, 2008 2009 etc.

Monday, May 02, 2005 6:00:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I'd love to think that my book will sell in the tens of thousands, change the way people see this Middle East debate and result in a more Palestinian friendly foreign policy.
Latham's dairy will gather huge media and I reckon enough people will be curious as to the former leader's disappearance early in 2004.
My book will be out early 2006, exact date to be confirmed, sir. If anything, just returning from the Middle East has fired me. Though, I'm telling you, this whole process is bloody difficult...!

Monday, May 02, 2005 6:26:00 pm  
Blogger Flute said...

Alright I'll buy the bugger. Just 1,999 to go to get to your thousands. Of course if you hit the top seller list, I will take full credit for inspriring you.

Monday, May 02, 2005 11:56:00 pm  

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