What's So Special? "The Federation Mirror" by Ross Fitzgerald and "Johannes Bjelke-Peterson: The Lord’s Premier" by Rae Wear. [review]
Wear's book should be the starting point for readers wanting a balanced overview of Bjelke-Peterson's career. Derek Townsend published his book little more than halfway through his premiership; Alan Metcalfe was obsequiously partisan; Hugh Lunn did bring the insights of a shrewd professional journalist to his account, but Wear also has the advantage of drawing on several studies by respected political scientists, as well as Cameron Hazlehurst's biography of Sir Gordon Chalk, and Paul Reynolds's of Mike Ahern. Ross Fitzgerald, an academic who was one of Bjelke-Peterson's more outspoken critics, may come some way towards identifying what's so special about Queensland in "The Federation Mirror". Having presided over Queensland's Centenary of Federation committee, Fitzgerald undertook the task of summarising the year's activities. Such chronicles are often predictable and boring. Fitzgerald had the bright idea of looking at the public activities of eight representative Queensland communities in the Federation year of 1901 and comparing them with the celebrations of 2001. His findings offer some interesting insights into Queensland's political culture.