Politics

Jon Altman reviews 'A Rightful Place (Quarterly Essay 55)' by Noel Pearson

Jon Altman
29 October 2014

Whether you love or hate lawyer–activist Noel Pearson’s ideas, you have to admire his chutzpah, his willingness to put his ideas out there for public discussion and debate, even if his More

Ian Lowe reviews 'Collision Course: Endless growth on a finite planet' by Kerryn Higgs

Ian Lowe
27 October 2014

This clear and cogent book is an important wake-up call. It should not need saying that it is impossible for human populations and economies to grow without limit on a finite planet, but t More

Dennis Altman reviews Bob Brown's memoir 'Optimism'

Dennis Altman
27 October 2014

There is a built-in paradox for the Greens: they need to both persuade people that we face major ecological disasters and at the same time hold out hope that we can respond meaningfully to them. To do this requires the sort of corny and touching optimism that gives Bob Brown’s book its title.

Optimism is neither a conventional memoir nor a political ... More

Tim Byrne reviews 'Dirty Secrets'

Tim Byrne
25 September 2014

The German film The Lives of Others (2006) ends with a coda, set after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in which protagonist Georg Dreyman is finally allowed access to the volumes of secret files collected on him by the Stasi. Apart from the sheer number, what strikes Georg most is the utter banality of the information contained within. It is a familiar reaction ... More

Richard Broinowski reviews 'North Korea'

Richard Broinowski
25 September 2014

North Korea always gets media attention for negative reasons: a border skirmish with its southern neighbour; a missile trial launch or nuclear test; vitriolic propaganda attacks on South Korea, Japan, or the United States; or the appalling findings of some human rights group like Michael Kirby’s recent UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea’s human rights abuse ... More

Peter Mares reviews two titles on asylum seekers

Peter Mares
23 September 2014

Peter Mares reviews two memoirs which offer new perspectives on the problems faced by asylum seekers.

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Adrian Walsh reviews 'The Essential Hirschman' and his biography

Adrian Walsh
25 August 2014

Albert O. Hirschman (1915–2012) was a development economist and political theorist whose work is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how economic life figures in the political worlds we inhabit and the ways in which we give meaning to our lives in market-based societies. Perhaps best known for the distinction between ‘exit’ and ‘voice’ ... More

Christopher Neff reviews 'Hard Choices' by Hillary Clinton and 'HRC: State Secrets and the rebirth of Hillary Clinton' by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

Christopher Neff
25 August 2014

It takes a village to run the world, and Hillary knows how to do it. These are the main lessons from Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, Hard Choices. The book traces the finality of he More

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

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