Writing a biography of any practising politician is a difficult task: you are more or less beholden to your subject, and the book can end up an exercise in diplomacy instead of perception. Writing a book about Bill Hayden, who has been called an enigma, a Hamlet, and a Cassandra, is double difficult. Writing about Hayden without Hayden’s help (he ‘was able to squeeze in only limited interviews ... (read more)
Craig McGregor (1933–2022) was a journalist and cultural critic. He wrote Time of Testing. His collection of essays, Soundtrack for the ‘Eighties, was published by Hodder in 1983.
September 1983, no. 54 • 21 July 2022
A Nation Apart is the title of this book of essays on contemporary Australia and it’s a good title because it summarises the fragmentation, the sense of disparateness, which characterizes this nation at the moment – and characterises the book itself. ‘We remain unknown … even to ourselves’, says the editor, John McLaren, in an introduction which sets the tone for the book. It is instruc ... (read more)