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Lucas Grainger-Brown

Lucas Grainger-Brown is a Melbourne-based writer and former management consultant to the federal government. He is currently completing PhD student and tutor at The University of Melbourne, focusing on national identity and globalisation in the Howard era. He has written for numerous journals and news media and has authored two novellas, a short story collection, and the novel Cleopatra's Daughter (2016).

2018 Calibre Essay Prize (Winner): 'We Three Hundred' by Lucas Grainger-Brown

April 2018, no. 400 23 March 2018
I signed away ten years of my life at high school. Three hundred or so teenagers did likewise around the country; from Sydney and Melbourne to the wind-rustle quiet of burnt umber townships. We had similar reasons – wanting to be heroes and leaders, chasing self-respect, escaping loose ends, following Simpson and his donkey. After graduation we cut our hair to regulation length, checked off ite ... (read more)

Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'The White Queen: One Nation and the politics of race' (Quarterly Essay 65) by David Marr

May 2017, no. 391 27 April 2017
David Marr’s interlocking identities as consummate essayist, journalist of forty-five years, ferocious biographer, and staunch cosmopolitan increasingly eclipse his subject. He wears the condition honestly and inelegantly. ‘I’m a grumpy old guy who hasn’t found in twenty years another big life worth writing’, he remarked in his 2016 Seymour Biography Lecture. Instead, ‘I write little l ... (read more)

Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'The Turnbull Gamble' by Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen

January–February 2017, no. 388 20 December 2016
After he crossed the Rubicon, Julius Caesar marched on Rome and imposed an authoritarian rule that would alter history. The way in which Australia embraced Malcolm Turnbull’s overthrow of Prime Minister Tony Abbott in September 2015 suggests that some may have harboured similar hopes, on a slightly less grand scale, for the twenty-ninth prime minister. On the first anniversary of the coup, Wayne ... (read more)

Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'Firing Line: Australia's path to war' (Quarterly Essay 62) by James Brown

August 2016, no. 383 25 July 2016
Australians must start 'thinking like hawks, while moving like doves', James Brown asserts in his viscerally illustrated but poorly argued Firing Line: Australia's path to war. Amid a darkening security outlook – subtext: a rising China – Australia must awaken from its complacency and foster a new national strategy based upon genuine and informed debate about war and our place in the world. Un ... (read more)

Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'Credlin & Co.' by Aaron Patrick and 'The Road to Ruin' by Niki Savva

June–July 2016, no. 382 23 May 2016
In August 2014, then Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave a short speech disagreeing with the contention put forward in Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation (2014), Paul Kelly's history of the Rudd/ Gillard years. Australia's political system was not broken. Abbott's newly elected government would prove 'that the last six years – the six years between 2007 and 2013 – is not ... (read more)