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Bruce Grant

Bruce Grant

In an active public life as foreign correspondent, columnist, academic, and diplomat, Bruce Grant has also written ten works of non-fiction, three novels, essays and many short stories. His first book Indonesia became a classic. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Australian High Commissioner in New Delhi, foundation chairman of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, chairman of the Australian Dance Theatre, chairman of the Victorian Premier’s literary awards, and president of Melbourne’s International Arts Festival.

Bruce Grant reviews 'The Bridge: The life and rise of Barack Obama' by David Remnick

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
When the book arrived for review, a paperback of 656 pages, my heart sank. Americans are the world’s greatest researchers. Reading it would be like drinking from a fire hose. But it began incisively, with a turning point in the 2008 presidential campaign that established Obama’s audacity as a ‘complex, cautious, intelligent, shrewd, young African-American man’ who would project his ambitio ... (read more)

Bruce Grant reviews 'Hawke: The prime minister' by Blanche d’Alpuget

September 2010, no. 324 01 September 2010
Needless to say, yet needing to be said, Australia’s twenty-third prime minister, R.J.L. Hawke, emerges from this interesting, sometimes engrossing yet disconcerting book smelling like roses. When MUP decided to publish, it must have seemed like a good idea. Deployed on television, Bob and Blanche were a marketing dream. But the result has a fatal flaw; it neither enlarges Hawke as a political l ... (read more)

Bruce Grant reviews 'Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics' by John Mearsheimer

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337 24 November 2011
Politics is a demanding profession that calls for skills of leadership and oratory, as well as management, analysis, and even theatre. Asking a politician to be truthful as well may be looking a gift-horse in the mouth. But we do. Misleading parliament by being ‘untruthful’ (‘lying’ is so reprehensible that it is unparliamentary to accuse a member of it) is a serious offence. In the US pre ... (read more)

Bruce Grant reviews 'On China' by Henry Kissinger

September 2011, no. 334 23 August 2011
Henry Kissinger has never seemed at home in the United States, although he has served in its highest councils and received its richest rewards. When I was one of his students at Harvard, we called him Henry, to distinguish him from professorial luminaries such as Galbraith, Riesman, and Schlesinger. He did not fit the insistent reasonableness of the Harvard faculty. His guttural voice, anxiety to ... (read more)