Author(s): PJ Keating
Books of speeches are rarely published as a compendium of work by one person. After Words is unique in Australian publishing by virtue of its scale and range of subjects, and that all the speeches are the work of one eye and one mind: former Prime Minister Paul Keating. Each speech has been conceptualised, contextualised and crafted by Paul Keating. Subject to subject, idea to idea, the speeches are related in a wider construct, which is the way Paul Keating has viewed and thought about the world. The speeches reveal the breadth and depth of his interests - be they cultural, historical, or policy-focused - dealing with subjects as broad as international relations, economic policy and politics. Individual chapters range from a discussion of Jorn Utzon's Opera House through to the redesign of Berlin, the history of native title, the challenge of Asia, the role of the monarchy, to the shape of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2, and more. After Words contains an analytic commentary on Australia's recent social and economic repositioning, in the minds of many, by its principal architect. The speeches, more often than not, go beyond observations, as Paul Keating sketches out new vistas and points to new directions. For those interested in matters that go to the future of Australia and the world, After Words presents, unmediated, a panoply of issues which the policy mind and writing style of Paul Keating has sculpted into a recognisable landscape.