I recently completed an update of TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION. I did a bit of polishing and added an index of names. An index of names was an important upgrade. I should perhaps have done that in the beginning. The book also has a new and more attractive cover. The photo is of the entrance to Sydney University where all the action took place.
TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION
Reviewed by Michael Gilchrist – News Weekly, 19 October 2019
After years of inaccurate and negative treatment of Tony Abbotts political career and image, both by the media and in assorted writings, a positive corrective is long overdue.
Many Australians accept as fact the crude caricatures and inaccuracies regarding Abbott: that he is a “wrecker”, a religious fanatic, a bully, anti-women, a far-right knuckle-dragger.
Gerard Wilson’s latest book, Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution, will be welcomed by those who, despite all the media misinformation, continue to admire the former prime minister and parliamentarian as a thoroughly decent individual as well as a fearless, forthright champion of mainstream conservative values and the positive role of Western civilisation.
Wilson’s book comprises four sections: Abbotts school years and the 1960s cultural revolution; student radicalism at Sydney University 1973-75, the prelude to Abbott’s arrival on campus; Abbott’s pushback against the far-left monopoly of student politics, 1976-80; and the media and Abbott.Continue reading ‘A pushback against Visceral unreason’
This morning Alan Jones discussed my book TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION with Ross Fitrzgerald on radio 2GB. Listen HERE.
Just repeating that I have received a review for TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION:
‘IF YOU WONDER how we got to where we are on the shifting sands of political correctness (and who doesn’t) this book is for you. Gerard Charles Wilson, author of Prison Hulk to Redemption (2015) is the kind of biographer who is a more interesting than his hero Tony Abbott (see James Boswell, Laird of Auchinleck and Sam Johnson, Doctor of Bolt Court, off Fleet Street)…
‘Wilson’s work may not necessarily commend itself to left-wing Honi Soitistes, but it should be on the library shelves of all Catholic universities and senior schools for its corrective attitude to the student politics of the last century and this one.’
Read the full review HERE.
I have completed a six-month update of TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION.
In addition to the review received (see recent blog), I had feedback that the book was unnecessarily long.
I have removed all text not directly related to the book’s three intertwined themes: the character of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott as displayed in his fearless no-holds battle with the far-left radicals at Sydney University (1976-1980); what it means to be a philosophical conservative in a leftist world; and the author’s critique of the student rebellion and the radicalism driving it. The author lived through the tumultuous years of the 1960s and 1970s revolution.
TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION is as much about the author as about Tony Abbott.
Way back in August 2013, I posted a defence of Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy. I am posting it again because I still think it has merit – for any party to adopt. Indeed, Eva Cox, hardly an admirer of Abbott, commented in a Crikey article that it was ‘actually a very good idea.’
When Tony Abbott, then the leader of the Liberal Party and Opposition Leader, announced his Paid Parental Leave policy, people on all sides of the political spectrum were speechless. The Left, taken completely by surprise, were reduced to incoherent muttering because policy of this sort was their preserve, and Abbott’s was far more generous than the Labor Government’s. To make matters worse, Abbott’s policy was generous to an extent that nobody in Australian politics could have imagined. Politicians of the right and the business sector were affrighted by the enormous cost, but kept their reaction to a murmuring about how the hell such a scheme would be paid for. After all, Tony was their man and looked a good possibility for defeating the profligate Labor Government. There seemed to be hope on the left and the right that the whole thing would fall through and such a fantastical idea would remain just that – a fantasy. Such hopes were to be frustrated.Continue reading Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy – was it really that mad?
During his long term as Australia’s prime minister (1996-2007), John Howard made a distinction between promises or undertakings that were ‘core’ and those that were ‘non-core’. He made the distinction in response to an accusation that he had gone back on an undertaking. Some undertakings, he said, have to be reversed because of changed circumstances. It seemed an unexceptionable explanation, but the words had hardly passed his lips when a howling of abuse, ridicule and scorn arose from the Left like a cloud of red dust blowing in from the outback. The ABC/Fairfax coalition went to town, confident that such an absurd declaration by a conservative they hated just a touch less than Tony Abbott would give them years of fun. Indeed, their confidence was not misplaced.Continue reading ‘Core’ vs. ‘non-core promise’ is a legitimate distinction
I have finished the first major revision of Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution. I’ve added two more chapters to the first draft. Shortly I will begin my second intense revision using the two editing programs Grammarly and ProWritingAid, both of which I can recommend. It will take another six weeks to bring the manuscript to publishing stage. I will be looking for a publisher.
Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution
When I decided to write a book about the fall of the Abbott Government, I feared I might have bitten off more than I could chew.
My specialty – to the extent I have one – is philosophy, specifically political philosophy. My Master’s thesis was on Edmund Burke. Although I follow politics fairly closely, I am more interested in the ideological motivations and clashes than the day to day political activity. My mind concentrates on the logic and consistency of a politician’s ideas and the implementation of those ideas in the concrete circumstances.
What always appealed to me about Tony Abbott was the philosophical depth and consistency of his thought, qualities few people appreciate. The caricature manufactured by the leftist media has dominated the political discourse. I wanted to show that his demise was due more to the unrelenting attacks by his ideological enemies (including those in his party undermining him) than to his record and the policy program he was pursuing. His program was a solid conservative program, economically and socially. The appalling ideological pig-ignorance of the President of the AMA was just one illustration of what he had to deal with.
The problem I thought might be my lack of knowledge of the detail necessary to my analysis. Nevertheless, I decided to go ahead to see how far I could get.
As I proceeded with my preparation, I saw that I had underestimated the reading necessary for the background I had planned to sketch. The prelude to Abbott’s political career was the 1960s and his time as a student politician in the second half of the 1970s. After much reading and making pages of notes, I sat down to write.
I discovered as I wrote I had to do still more reading if I was to succeed in establishing those critical influences that made Abbott what he is as a political player. I had reached around 25,000 words when it occurred to me that Abbott’s time as a student politician was a story in itself – a fascinating story. I split the project into two books. Back to my reading and research.
Months passed while I amassed more than 300 pages of notes. When I went back to my writing, I made good progress. I have a clear schedule now, the result of a strict ordering of the notes. I hoped I could catch up on the deadline I had set myself which was March this year for the first draft.
I’m happy to say that I am steaming ahead, reaching 95,000 words as of today (3 Feb). I probably won’t achieve the end of March deadline, but it won’t be much beyond that. Stay tuned. I am sure many will find Tony Abbott the student politician as fascinating as I have.
For the last six months I have been working on a book about the political career of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. I have progressed enough at this point to announce a tentative publication date: January 2018.
More detail here