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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

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

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.




From the Archive

February–March 1986, no. 78

Guilt by John Carroll

This odd little book could be a worthy antipodean entry in the Bead Game, the semi-religious competitive ritual that Herman Hesse in his Magister Ludi (1945) saw steadily engrossing the high intellects of the West as we neared the year 2000 CE. Players were challenged to confront the full breadth of human culture and compose a personal Hand, a sequence of allusions to past high moments of faith, science or art, whose novel juxtaposition and hidden correspondences would both deeply inform and spiritually enrich. Because they lived impotent and dejected amid the rubble of an exhausted civilisation, Hesse’s players had no more gratifying occupation, and, of course, the introduction of new beads treating of the culture of the recent past or anything faintly contemporary was severely discouraged.

From the Archive

April 2000, no. 219

Robert Holden reviews 'Barbara Tribe: Sculptor' by Patricia R. McDonald

We should no longer marvel at the way art historians are forever finding yet another woman artist to rescue from undeserved obscurity. With Patricia R. McDonald’s tribute to Barbara Tribe we have the work of this eclectic Australian sculptor finally validated in a handsomely produced monograph.

From the Archive

May 2014, no. 361

Walking: New and selected poems by Kevin Brophy

Melbourne often seems an indeterminate place, with one flat suburb leaching into another. Writers tend to use place as local colour, the places themselves having little to say, in most cases. Kevin Brophy is an exception, and, especially in this ‘new and selected’ collection, a revelatory one. John Leonard have done great work in putting so many of Brophy’s poems back into print, alongside new work. (For typography buffs, ‘Walking,’ also has a superb cover, looking at which has exactly the same effect as reading the poetry.)