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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

May 1979, no. 10

Judith Rodriguez reviews 'Musings' by Anthony Turner, 'Under the Weather' by Laurie Duggan, 'Knabel' by Vicki Viidikas, 'A Photo of Some People in a Football Stadium' by Eric Beach, and 'Invitation to a Marxist Lesbian Party' by Lee Cataldi

Every book of poems is to some degree a selection, unless it’s a record of work and gets down among discarded drafts. Anthony Turner’s unpromisingly-titled first book (Musings: A collection of poems, 1965-1977, Hawthorn Press, $4.50 pb, 74 pp) needs so much more editing that it was an unwise venture into covers.

From the Archive

July–August 2008, no. 303

Future eaters

In the years between the two world wars, the young Soviet Union was, for socialist intellectuals and many liberals in the West, a social laboratory, one that held the promise of a new world order. Inspired by the transforming power and promise of the October Revolution of 1917, some were drawn to admiration of the great Socialist Experiment ‘in a land where revolutionaries were trying to create a socialist society based on the principles of central economic planning’.

From the Archive

April 2007, no. 290

The Architecture of Aftermath by Terry Smith

At the centre of this book is the story of the attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York on 9/11. Terry Smith’s focus is architectural: what does it mean for buildings that are supposed to shelter and sustain our lives so spectacularly to collapse? The WTC’s destruction raises this question so singularly, not only for those who immediately suffered – traumatised by the obliteration of family members or their own escape from death – but for contemporary Everyman and Everywoman, who encountered the WTC not first-hand but as an image, what Smith calls an ‘iconotype’ in an ‘iconomy’ of architectural images.