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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

July 1986, no. 82

A History of Australian Foreign Policy: From dependence to independence by E.M Andrews

This book is a useful and lucid account of Australian foreign policy since the very beginning. It does not purport to be an authoritative or a particularly analytical account of the evolution of external policy but is one which senior secondary school children could find helpful in achieving a sense of perspective. As its author concedes, to grasp the essentials of Australian foreign policy this book read in isolation would not be enough, and some general knowledge of world events is necessary.

From the Archive

From the Archive

May 2010, no. 321

Waiting for the Owl: Poems and songs from ancient China by Ian Johnston (transl.)

Chinese poetry has long been lost in translation. You only have to look at a line in an ancient Chinese poem and its inscrutability is plain to see: four or five characters across the page, each with several venerable meanings and without markers of tense, speaker, conjunctions or prepositions. Every translator becomes an adventurer, one who can only haul the poem onto the shores of difference.