Politics

Ross McMullin reviews 'The Whitlam Legacy'

Ross McMullin
27 February 2014

Having edited multi-authored retrospectives of The Wran Era (2006) and The Hawke Government (2003) together with For the True Believers: Great Labor Speeches (2013), Troy Bramston has now turned his attention to The Whitlam Legacy. It is a comprehensive survey, not confined to assessments of how much the government’s initiatives remain ... More

Shane Carmody reviews 'The Conservative Revolution'

Shane Carmody
26 February 2014

In a time of spin and media management, it is refreshing to read a book written by a politician setting out core beliefs. Cory Bernardi has done this in The Conservative Revolution. Its launch was greeted with reports of his support for a completely free market in labour relations, his opposition to abortion, and his dislike of homosexuality. Many presented h ... More

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'For the True Believers'

Lyndon Megarrity
28 November 2013
‘Well may we say “God Save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Governor-General.’

Gough Whitlam’s famous words during his impromptu speech after the Dismissal in 1975 remain a potent symbol of the excitements and turbulence of the Whitlam era. As Troy Bramston’s collection of ALP speeches sinc ... More

The Mad Marathon

Shane Carmody
27 November 2013

Shane Carmody reviews veteran Canberra watcher Mungo MacCallum’s ‘swiftly written, easily read, entertaining, foible-focused’ account of the ‘personality-obsessed non-debate that was the 2013 campaign’.

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James Walter on the new biography of Margaret Thatcher

James Walter
30 October 2013

Our media treat leaders as personifying everything that matters, yet social scientists disdain leadership. Most of what we know about leaders comes from biographies. And biography, dominated by those wishing either to demonise, or to celebrate, their subject, is a craft monopolised by insiders, acolytes, and journalists. Regarding Margaret Thatcher, academics ... More

Gillian Terzis on 'The Story of Clive Palmer'

Gillian Terzis
30 October 2013

Even the most seasoned political observers would have been surprised at the Palmer United Party’s triumph at the federal election, which saw it claim three seats in the Senate. Was it a stroke of luck or the work of a remarkable political strategist? In any case, the political fate of the PUP’s founder remains undecided, more than a month after the electio ... More

Jan McGuinness on the climate of Murdoch

Jan McGuinness
30 October 2013

Jan McGuinness reviews two major new books on Australian media, covering the decline of Fairfax and examining Rupert Murdoch as a political player pursuing and promoting his own business and media agendas.

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Nick Hordern reviews 'Fragile Empire'

Nicholas Hordern
27 September 2013

On 18 July 2013the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was sentenced to a five-year jail term on corruption charges. Navalny, in a speech to the court castigating the dispensation which has emerged in Russia since Vladimir Putin first became president in 2000, attacked a ‘system of power in which 83 percent of the country’s w ... More

Russell Marks reviews 'Trust Me'

Russell Marks
27 September 2013

‘Trust’ between voters and their elected representatives must seem rather arbitrary to politicians, whose success depends on its maintenance. Our simplistic expectations of honesty are belied by the ways in which our subconscious perceptions are herded into different narratives. Julia Gillard was either inherently untrustworthy because she benefited from K ... More

Rendezvous with Destiny

Dennis Altman
25 September 2013

Michael Fullilove, head of the Lowy Institute, has written about President Roosevelt and the men who helped him to guide the US so reluctantly into World War II. Dennis Altman reviews this model of academic research.< More

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