Politics

Joel Deane reviews two books on Julia Gillard

Joel Deane
25 August 2014

Joel Deane reviews two new titles on Julia Gillard and speculates whether she, like Gough Whitlam before her, has been typecast as martyr.

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Glyn Davis reviews 'Just Freedom'

Glyn Davis
22 July 2014

In a recent Prospect interview, distinguished Princeton and ANU scholar Philip Pettit described political philosophy as a conversation around various themes. Some voices focus on power or freedom, others on democracy or the nature of the state. The conversation should extend beyond the academy, argued Pettit, to embrace public intellectuals, journalists, comm ... More

Mossad and the death of Ben Zygier

Simon Collinson
27 May 2014

Reports about the Mossad often have the unfortunate trait of reading like a John le Carré novel. We hear of spies assuming false identities and injecting poison into the ears of Israel’s enemies, or of a Mossad director beginning his weekly meetings with the question, ‘Who are we going to assassinate today?’ Unfortunately, most of these stories are true. As w ... More

Neal Blewett reviews Bob Carr

Neal Blewett
26 May 2014
Where Neal Blewett - another notable political diarist - wonders if Bob Carr recieved 'an epistle from on high' when he published his diaries, as happened to Blewett in the 1990s More

James Der Derian on Edward Snowden and cyber-zombies

James Der Derian
26 May 2014
Cyber-security expert James Der Derian reviews several books about Edward Snowden and his audacious revelations about US surveillance excesses and their implications for all private citizens. More

The Gillard Governments

Lyndon Megarrity
30 April 2014

The prime ministership of Julia Gillard attracted an immense amount of media attention, not least because of the novelty of a female leader aspiring to embody the values and dreams of the Australian people. As opposition to her policies and style grew, Gillard as the government figurehead was at times subjected to extremist protests that used her gender as a weapon. ... More

Michael Ignatieff Learns from Defeat

Glyn Davis
29 April 2014

Knowledge gained through academic life is no preparation for political practice. So found Michael Ignatieff, the distinguished Canadian historian and public intellectual. In October 2004 he was teaching at Harvard University when approached by ‘three men in black’. These Liberal Party power brokers suggested Ignatieff leave the classroom and run for office. F ... More

Stephen Ward as the Establishment’s Whipping Boy

Paul Morgan
01 May 2014

Who was Stephen Ward? And why does his fate matter today?

The Profumo affair, with its mixture of sex, politics, aristocracy, and espionage, has become the archetypal scandal. In 1962, Jack Profumo was British Secretary of State for War (ministerial titles were more frank in those days). He had a brief affair with a beautiful young woman, Christine Keeler, w ... More

Alex O'Brien reviews 'A Country Too Far'

Alex O'Brien
28 February 2014

Australia is a country that will not be intimidated by its own decency. On 28 August 2001, as a detail of Special Air Services soldiers was dispatched to MV Tampa, Prime Minister John Howard spoke about the 438 people – mostly Afghan Hazaras – who languished aboard the freighter. ‘We are humane people,’ he told Mike Munro. ‘[B]ut on the other hand, ... More

Robin Priors 'The Roar of the Lion'

Robin Prior
28 February 2014

In his introduction to this book, Richard Toye makes the startling but, as far as I know, accurate claim that this is the first book to offer a comprehensive analysis of Churchill’s wartime speeches. For a series of orations that now occupy many pages of any dictionary of quotations, The Roar of the Lion fills a surprising gap. Unfortunately, it does not fi ... More

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