Sometimes book launches can be memorable for what the invited talent says about the book and the writer. Back in 2006 Paul Keating launched George Megalogenis' The Longest Decade with this:
Would I write a better book? Well, of course I would. I write better than George and I know more. But George is not me and he is not John Howard and his third party view is worth something. Is it worth the world? No. But is it worth something? Indeed, it is.
Keating was in a far more generous and serious mood this morning, praising richly Hugh White's book and quoting from it extensively (as Michael Fullilove tweeted: 'Shorter Keating on Hugh White's The China Choice: buy this book.'). Keating did not put any space between himself and White's views, as another admirer of White's work, Malcolm Turnbull, did in his review in The Monthly. This was an outright endorsement.
But Keating did emphatically put space between himself and both sides of Australian politics on the question of our alliance with America, as Dan Flitton reports in his coverage of the speech.
Over the last five years, this site has been a near-constant space for debate about Hugh White's work. His ideas inspire reactions from fellow strategists, politicians and the public in a way that no other Interpreter contributor does. So grab yourself a copy of the book, and let the discussion commence.