Current Issue #476

Book Review: This Time: Australia's Republican Past and Future

Book Review: This Time: Australia's Republican Past and Future

“No great country has a monarch of another country as their head of state. No great country has the flag of another country in the corner. But more than that no country, which is great … wants to live with shame of the dispossession of its original people.”

This is perhaps Paul Keating’s most salient quote, as Australia is still a constitutional monarchy clinging to England’s coat tails despite 60,000 years of continuous culture before English settlement and a future that looks to Asia.

This Time, a case for a republic and a detailing of our republican history by academic Benjamin T Jones, is as persuasive as Keating’s comments. Jones’ short tome should act as an impetus for another republican debate, which given his detailing of a century of failed attempts, might unfortunately be a way off.

Despite this, This Time is a succinct and fascinating history of republican movements and the efforts to stop them, and why, to be great, Australia must reward a figurehead of our own, as “monarchy is the antithesis of democracy”. To Jones, “republicans must unite” and learn the lessons of the 1999 referendum. No easy feat but This Time shows a way forward.

Author: Benjamin T Jones
Publisher: Black Inc

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