In his introduction to this selection of prose engagements with the world, Robert Manne tells us he was looking for the ‘presence of a distinctive voice’ as a sign of what he calls a good essay. Some of these pieces are conventional essays, but others are memoirs, newspaper columns, sketches, ‘true’ stories – there’s even a speech and an article from Manne’s own Festschrift. Never mind the definitions, what Manne has gathered is an informative, thoroughly enjoyable collection of writing to stimulate our reflections on the past year and our concerns for the future.
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