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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s strongman politics (Quarterly Essay 93)
Politics

Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s strongman politics (Quarterly Essay 93) by Lech Blaine

Bill Hayden might today be recalled as the unluckiest man in politics: Bob Hawke replaced him as Labor leader on the same day that Malcolm Fraser called an election that Hayden, after years of rebuilding the Labor Party after the Whitlam years, was well positioned to win. But to dismiss him thus would be to overlook his very real and laudable efforts to make a difference in politics – as an early advocate for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and as the social services minister who introduced pensions for single mothers and Australia’s first universal health insurance system, Medibank. Dismissing Hayden would also cause us to miss the counterpoint he provides to Peter Dutton, current leader of the Liberal Party.

Interview

Interview

Interview

From the Archive

April 2006, no. 280

Dan Toner reviews 'The Line: A man’s experience; a son’s quest to understand' by Arch and Martin Flanagan

This book is a double-barrelled memoir, its two authors providing, at heart, a first- and second-generation account of the Burma Railway and its resonances down their line. It’s arc is wider though, and it’s preoccupations more universal, than a simple family history, if there is such a thing. Arch Flanagan, the patriarch and veteran, contributes five pieces, two of memoir, two short stories and an obituary. Martin, son and searcher, intersects these texts with a narrative of his own, alternately probing the spaces and interrogating the players of this history.

From the Archive

May 2014, no. 361

Cairo by Louis Armand

Science fiction, for all its association with wild technology and alien cultures, has always concerned itself with the state of the world as it is now, using future possibilities as a lens through which to examine current issues. Louis Armand is clearly fascinated by the way our world is shaped and the way we shape our place within it; in addition to his previous novels, he has written or curated essays on literate technologies, on the avant-garde in a post-structuralist world, on pornography and bodily existence. So it makes sense that in his latest novel, Cairo, Armand has turned to cyberpunk, the dirtier, angrier child of science fiction, to examine questions of the environment, perception, identity, and time.

From the Archive

June 1979, no. 11

1915 by Roger McDonald & A Question of Polish by Terry Ingram

The dustjacket designer Christopher McVinish has given the title of this novel an unforgettable identity, with the figure of a soldier superimposed in red on the second one of 1915, which is in black. It is a powerful image that immediately announces the subject of the novel. Most of what follows is disappointing, and apparently not due to McVinish.