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The Liberals: The NSW Division 1945-2000, by Ian Hancock

NOT THE LEAST MERIT of Ian Hancock’s timely examination of the Liberal Party in New South Wales is his balanced treatment of the Liberal Wars—the factional battles between the party’s left and right wings—the one faction dubbed Trendies or Moderates or The Group, the other “extreme Right-wingers” or Uglies or The Taliban. He tracks the Wars from the 1960s to today—despite the book’s subtitle, it brings the story to 2007—and he notes more than once the lost opportunities for compromise. Both factions are legitimate, he says, and there should be some sort of reconciliation, however messy. It will not come…

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