Jane Goodall reviews 'Tales from the Political Trenches'

Jane Goodall
28 November 2012

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 John Howard in the seat of Bennelong in the ... More

Joel Deane reviews James Button's 'Speechless'

Joel Deane
28 October 2012

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. Having worked as both a public servant and a political staffer, I bel ... More

Ben Eltham reviews 'The Marmalade Files'

Ben Eltham
26 October 2012

The Marmalade Files is a novel by Canberra press gallery veterans Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann. Set in 2011, it is a fast-paced political thriller with decidedly modest ambitions. Probably intended as a thriller or a light-hearted romp through Canberra’s back rooms, The Marmalade Files fails on both counts. It is a sort of bastard potboiler, weirdly ... More

David Collis on building equity among Australian schools

David Collis
25 October 2012
I’ve never looked at a big independent school in an established suburb and thought ‘that’s not fair’ … I look at a big independent school in an established suburb and think ‘that’s a great example’.
Julia Gillard

If Julia Gillard were to drive past the main campus of the Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC), a big ... More

Eric Knight: Reframe

Alex O'Brien
28 August 2012

Alex O’Brien


Reframe: How to Solve the World’s Trickiest Problems
by Eric Knight
Black Inc., $29.95 pb, 228 pp, 9781863955591


Weary of the standard Hollywood pap, Samuel Goldwyn reportedly told his writers, ‘Let’s have some new clichés.’ In Ref ... More

Ben Eltham reviews 'Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left' edited by Antony Lowenstein and Jeff Sparrow

Ben Eltham
28 August 2012

Few would suggest that global capitalism is in rude, unqualified, health. Greece has just voted on whether to stay in the Euro, global markets continue their rollercoaster trajectory, and millions of workers in advanced Western economies remain jobless. With much of the rich world halfway into a lost decade, capitalism is suffering another of the periodic and devast ... More

Hypocrisy in global refugee politics

Peter Mares
21 March 2012

‘I’m illegal. So what?’

Peter Mares


Frontier Justice: The Global Refugee Crisis and What to Do About It
by Andy Lamey
University of Queensland Press, $34.95 pb, 416 pp, 9780702239311


Contesting Citizenship: Irregular Migrants an ... More

George Megalogenis: The Australian Moment

Matthew Lamb
21 March 2012

Economic booms and busts as extremes of the human condition

Matthew Lamb


The Australian Moment: How We Were Made for These Times
by George Megalogenis
Hamish Hamilton, $32.95 pb, 352 pp, 9780670075218


In The Australian Moment: How We Were Made ... More

Angus Roxburgh: The Strongman

Geoff Winestock
21 March 2012

A portrait of the Vladimir Putin from inside the Kremlin

Geoff Winestock


The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia
by Angus Roxburgh
I.B. Tauris (Palgrave Macmillan), $39.95 hb, 338 pp, 9781780760162


The Western stereotype of the Russ ... More

Neal Blewett on 'After Words: The Post-Prime Ministerial Speeches'

Neal Blewett
23 January 2012

As of writing, Australia has six living ex-prime ministers – not quite a record. Of these, one, of course, is still in parliamentary harness, and may still aspire to the top job. Of the remaining five, all but one have provided us with voluminous accounts of their stewardship. The exception is our twenty-fourth prime minister, Paul Keating (1991–96). Not that he ... More

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