‘Waves of anger and fear’

Judith Brett on Australia’s political and cultural life
by
December 2021, no. 438
Buy this book

Doing Politics: Writing on public life by Judith Brett

Text Publishing, $34.99 pb, 320 pp

‘Waves of anger and fear’

Judith Brett on Australia’s political and cultural life
by
December 2021, no. 438

Judith Brett, historian and La Trobe University emeritus professor of politics, is characteristically direct – in her questioning, her analysis, and her engagement with readers. If there is something declarative about ‘Going Public’, the title of Doing Politics’s introductory chapter, that is exactly what Brett intends: to go public, to offer a general reader her considered reflections on Australian political and cultural life. This is not an assemblage of opinion pieces, though her writings have a related journalistic conciseness and impact – they speak to the times. What distinguishes Brett’s collection of essays is their scholarly depth and habit of enquiry. They prompt thought before they invite agreement, or conclusions. Even the bad actors, the political obstructors, the wreckers in Brett’s political analysis, are psychologically intriguing. Why are our politicians like this? What’s going on? Judith Brett studied literature and philosophy as well as politics as an undergraduate. Perhaps Hamlet drills away in her consciousness: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’

Morag Fraser reviews 'Doing Politics: Writing on public life' by Judith Brett

Doing Politics: Writing on public life

by Judith Brett

Text Publishing, $34.99 pb, 320 pp

Buy this book

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