Politics

John Rickard reviews 'Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891–1966' by Race Mathews

John Rickard

I was a student at Sydney University when, in 1954, the embattled Labor leader Dr H.V. Evatt went public, accusing a small group of Labor MPs of disloyalty, their attempt to gain control of the party being directed from a source outside the labour movement. He identified the Melbourne News Weekly as their mouthpiece. Few had heard of B.A. (‘Bob’) Santam ... More

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going rogue with Australian deplorables' by John Safran

Johanna Leggatt

David Marr’s Quarterly Essay, The White Queen: One Nation and the politics of race (2017) is a comprehensive and scholarly look at Pauline Hanson’s appeal, and what her revival, tepid as it may be in an international context, says about the way race has been exploited in the bread and circuses of politics. John Safran is equally interested in race, and ... More

Michael Winkler reviews 'Losing Streak: How Tasmania was gamed by the gambling industry' by James Boyce

Michael Winkler

Gambling is part of Australia’s self-definition. The way we like to tell the story, lads at Gallipoli went over the top with a two-up kip in one hand and a rifle in the other, while exch More

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

Lucas Grainger-Brown

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 ... More

James McNamara reviews 'Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus' by Matt Taibbi and 'How The Hell Did This Happen? The Election of 2016' by P.J. O’Rourke

James McNamara

Beneath a frantic veneer of normalcy, American politics is not okay. It is as if Punch and Judy have careened out of a dive bar, tripped down the rabbit hole, smashed head-first through the looking glass, and found themselves running all three branches of government. Core to this is that unlikely combination of words, President Donald Trump.

As I write in Ap ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Disposable Leaders: Media and leadership coups from Menzies to Abbott' by Rodney Tiffen

Dennis Altman

When Australia’s living prime ministers attended the funeral of Gough Whitlam in 2014, there were considerable difficulties in taking the official photograph. Rather than grouping them in order of seniority, the photographer carefully separated Malcolm Fraser from John Howard; Bob Hawke from Paul Keating; Kevin Rudd from Julia Gillard. Animosities within ruling pa ... More

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

Lucas Grainger-Brown

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 ...

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Paul Strangio reviews 'John Curtin: How he won over the media' by Caryn Coatney

Paul Strangio

John Curtin occupies the top tier in the pantheon of Australian national leaders. ‘Expert’ rankings of former officer holders – a practice lately imported from the United States, whe More

Simon Tormey reviews 'Comrade Corbyn' by Rosa Prince

Simon Tormey

In an extraordinary year for British politics the gloriously unexpected triumph of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party’s leadership election in September 2015 probably ranks ...

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