Melbourne University Press

The University of Melbourne’s announcement on 30 January 2019 that Melbourne University Publishing would henceforth ‘refocus on being a high-quality scholarly press in support of the University’s mission of excellence in teaching and research’, which led to the resignations of its chief executive, Louise Adler ...

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Gillian Triggs is a pearls-and-perfectly-cut-jacket person these days, so it is thrilling to learn that she was dressed head to toe in motorcycle leathers when she had one of the more instructive experiences of her life. It was 1972, and Triggs, the future president of the Australian Human Rights Commission ...

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Mark Colvin’s fine memoir – of a journalist’s life and as a spy’s son – was completed before the Macquarie Dictionary chose ‘fake news’ as its word of the year, and the OED and Merriam-Webster opted for ‘post truth’ and ‘surreal’. In July 2016, as Colvin was writing his acknowledgments chapter ...

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One of the literary legacies of the financial crisis is a type of travel writing focused on the local social, economic, and environmental effects of unfettered global capitalism. There are two types of such books. Michael Lewis is perhaps the best known and most widely read author of the first kind ...

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By its title, Tales from the Political Trenches promises reportage from the front line, eyewitness accounts of what really happens in the hidden zones of the political battlefield. The tales told here follow a rollercoaster sequence of political events: the meteoric rise of Kevin Rudd, Maxine McKew’s triumph over ...

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In 2008 I was asked to write speeches for then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It was a tempting offer. The trouble was that I would be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), not the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and would work as a public servant, not a political staffer ...

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Why would a famous virologist and immunologist (and Nobel laureate) write a book linking birds, human diseases, and ecological degradation? The answer is partly that Peter Doherty obviously has a soft spot for birds and birdwatching. He argues that anyone with an enquiring mind and a natural history ...

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The Sweet Spot: How Australia Made Its Own Luck – And Could Now Throw It All Away by Peter Hartcher & The Fog On The Hill: How NSW Labor lost its way by Frank Sartor

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December 2011–January 2012, no. 337

On 7 November, Paul Keating appeared on ABC TV’s 7.30 to promote his new book of speeches,  After Words. Keating’s response to Leigh Sales’s first question about political leadership was instructive:

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As with all such collections, this issue of Meanjin mixes the inspired with the modest, the fascinating with the mediocre. That is of no consequence: in this fraught cultural age, all that matters is that journals like Meanjin survive and provide a forum for both established and aspiring writers.

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In Feeling the Heat, journalist and science writer Jo Chandler voyages to Antarctica (mostly), where she meets and talks with scientists about the meaning of their work. She reminds me of the eighteenth-century philosophical travellers, the first anthropologists who travelled to strange lands (Australia included) to observe the language and customs of savage peoples, and to learn from them. From ice field and coral reef, Chandler reports on the latest in climate science, as if meeting the inhabitants of a distant country where they do things differently.

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