Quarterly Essay

A Rightful Place: Race, Recognition and a More Complete Commonwealth

A Rightful Place: Race, Recognition and a More Complete Commonwealth

Noel Pearson

Over the next two years, Australians will decide if and how Aboriginal people will be recognised in the Constitution. Professor Greg Craven writes: 'We have a committed Prime Minister, and a committed opposition. We have a...

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Dragon's Tail: The Lucky Country After the China Boom

Dragon’s Tail: The Lucky Country After the China Boom

Andrew Charlton

In this timely Quarterly Essay, Andrew Charlton demolishes some myths about Australia's long boom. Around 2000 Australia's economy became tied to the supercharged rise of China. We had the good fortune to have exactly the...

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That Sinking Feeling: Quarterly Essay 53

That Sinking Feeling: Quarterly Essay 53

Paul Toohey

In Quarterly Essay 53, Paul Toohey looks at one of Tony Abbott's signature promises: to stop the boats. Has his government succeeded? If so, at what cost?

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Found in Translation: In praise of a plural world

Found in Translation: In praise of a plural world

Linda Jaivin

Whether we're aware of it or not, we spend much of our time in this globalised world in the act of translation. Language is a big part of it, of course, as anyone who has fumbled with a phrasebook in a foreign country will know,...

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Quarterly Essay 51 The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell

Quarterly Essay 51 The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell

David Marr

In Quarterly Essay 51, David Marr investigates the character and actions of Cardinal George Pell: how does he wield his authority? How did he rise to prominence? How has he handled abuse claims in the past? What is the source of...

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 Read reviewQuarterly Essay 50 Unfinished Business: Sex, Freedom and Misogyny

Quarterly Essay 50 Unfinished Business: Sex, Freedom and Misogyny

Anna Goldsworthy

In the fiftieth Quarterly Essay, Anna Goldsworthy examines life for women after the gains made by feminism. From Facebook to 50 Shades of Grey, from Girls to gonzo porn, what are young women being told...

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Not Dead Yet: Labor's Post-Left Future

Not Dead Yet: Labor’s Post-Left Future

Mark Latham

'During the term of the Rudd and Gillard governments, criticism of the Labor Party became a national pastime.' So writes Mark Latham, a one-time leader of the party and still its most perceptive - and fiercest - critic. In...

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Great Expectations: Government, Entitlement and an Angry Nation

Great Expectations: Government, Entitlement and an Angry Nation

Laura Tingle

Respected journalist Laura Tingle writes on politics, affluence and an angry nation.

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Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals

Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals

Anna Krien

In this dazzling piece of reportage, Anna Krien investigates the contemporary animal kingdom and our place in it. From pets to food, from wildness to science experiments, Krien also reveals how animals are faring in this new world...

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Man-made World: Choosing Between Progress and Planet

Man-made World: Choosing Between Progress and Planet

Andrew Charlton

Across the globe, economists and environmentalists vie over who has the right response to climate change, population or food security issues. In this groundbreaking essay Charlton argues that our descendants will only thank us if...

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Bad News: Murdoch's Australian and the Shaping of the Nation

Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation

Robert Manne

In the third Quarterly Essay for 2011, Robert Manne investigates the forces that shape public debate in Australia. When it comes to key issues for the nation, who sets the media agenda and how do they do it?

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Fair Share: Country and City in Australia

Fair Share: Country and City in Australia

Judith Brett

The Australian Settlement, as formulated by Paul Kelly, had a sixth pillar: a settlement between the city and the country in which the state compensated people living in the country for the costs of remoteness and sparse...

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 Read reviewPolitical Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott

Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott

David Marr

Quarterly Essay is a trailblazing Australian journal of politics and culture. Each issue contains a single essay written at a length of about 25,000 words, followed by correspondence on previous essays.

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The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World

The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World

David Malouf

David Malouf returns to one of the most fundamental questions and gives it a modern twist: what makes for a happy life? With grace and profundity, Malouf explores new and old ways to talk about contentment and the self. In...

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Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the End of the Reform Era

Trivial Pursuit: Leadership and the End of the Reform Era

George Megalogenis

In the aftermath of the 2010 election, Megalogenis considers what has happened to politics in Australia. He dissects the cycle of polls, focus groups and presidential politics and explores what it has done to the prospect of...

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China, America and Australia's Future in Asia

China, America and Australia’s Future in Asia

Hugh White

This essay considers Australia's place between China and the US. As the power balance shifts and China's influence grows, what might this mean for the nation? How to define the national interest in the Asian Century? It considers...

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 Read reviewPower Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd

Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd

David Marr

This irreverent, controversial account is a ground-breaking, in-depth profile that traces Rudd's years in Queensland, in China, in opposition and finally in government. Based on extensive research, observation and interviewing, it...

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What's Right?: The Future of Conservatism in Australia

What’s Right?: The Future of Conservatism in Australia

Waleed Aly

What did George W. Bush and John Howard do to conservatism? In their wake, the conservative parties in the US and Australia seem to have lost their way. How did the Right in Australia end up in this place? How might it renew...

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Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country

Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country

Mungo MacCallum

Mungo MacCallum investigates political leadership in Australia, past and present. This is a barbed and perceptive look at the challenges facing the Rudd government and Australia. MacCallum argues that the things we used to rely on...

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Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull

Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull

Annabel Crabb

Malcolm Turnbull has quite a job ahead of him as leader of the Liberal Party. How is he going so far? What can we expect in the years ahead? This is a scintillating look at Turnbull and the Liberals in opposition. It is based on...

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 Special priceQuarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom

Quarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom

Guy Pearse

This is an essay about 'quarry vision', the mindset that sees Australia's greatest asset as its mineral and energy resources, coal especially. How has this distorted our national politics and our response to climate change? What...

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On the US Election

On the US Election

Kate Jennings

Timed to come out immediately after the November 2008 election in the US, it offers a series of memorable snapshots of America in fascinating flux: Bush's last days in office; sub-prime meltdowns; markets, trust and community; the...

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Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?

Now or Never: A Sustainable Future for Australia?

Tim Flannery

Professor Tim Flannery investigates the latest climate science and the challenges facing Australia and the world. He looks at what the Rudd government needs to do if the nation is to play its part in averting a global...

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 Read reviewLast Drinks: The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention

Last Drinks: The Impact of the Northern Territory Intervention

Paul Toohey

In this riveting piece of reportage and analysis, Toohey examines the wholesale attempt to change an entrenched way of life. He takes a perceptive, at time humorous, look at the encounter between outsiders, doctors, police,...

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Love and Money: The Family and the Free market

Love and Money: The Family and the Free market

Anne Manne

The author looks at the challenge of balancing love and economics, and the value our society places on both. Examining how paid work has become 'sacred' for many, she argues that any true definition of equality has to take into...

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 Special priceExit Right: The Unravelling of John Howard

Exit Right: The Unravelling of John Howard

Judith Brett

In Exit Right , Judith Brett explains why the tide turned on John Howard. This is an essay about leadership, in particular Howard's style of strong leadership which led him to dominate his party with such ultimately catastrophic...

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Reaction Time: Climate Change and the Nuclear Option

Reaction Time: Climate Change and the Nuclear Option

Ian Lowe

Australia is at a crossroads: do we need to embrace a nuclear future? In Reaction Time, Ian Lowe examines the science and the politics of nuclear power, as well as the feasible alternatives in an era of global warming.

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His Master's Voice: Public Debate in Howard's Australia

His Master’s Voice: Public Debate in Howard’s Australia

David Marr

John Howard has the loudest voice in Australia. He has cowed his critis, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced NGOs, censored the arts, prosecutred leakers, criminalised protest and shut down...

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Bipolar Nation: How to Win the 2007 Election

Bipolar Nation: How to Win the 2007 Election

Peter Hartcher

This dazzling essay analyses today's bipolar nation , looks at the legacy of Paul Keating, and discusses how John Howard will set out to craft an election-winning strategy. It explains how the Lucky Country and the Frightened...

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No Fixed Address: Nomads and the Fate of the Planet

No Fixed Address: Nomads and the Fate of the Planet

Robyn Davidson

In this scholarly, yet passionate essay the author explores the paradoxes and strengths of nomadism, in both its traditional and modern forms.

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History Question: Who Owns the Past?

History Question: Who Owns the Past?

Inga Clendinnen

Looks past the skirmishes and pitched battles of the history wars, and asks what's at stake, what kind of history do we want and need? The author discusses what good history looks like and, more specifically, what good Australian...

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Voting for Jesus: The Christian Revival in Australia

Voting for Jesus: The Christian Revival in Australia

Amanda Lohrey

Explores the world of evangelical Christianity. It also looks at the use and abuse of religion in party politics. Analysing the success of Family First, Lohrey argues that Christians have far less influence than they would like,...

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Radical Hope

Radical Hope

Noel Pearson

Noel Pearson argues that nothing is more crucial to future success than a proper education, and that too many in our society are being left behind. He also looks critically at some of the most difficult and controversial issues....

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What's Left?: The Death of Social Democracy

What’s Left?: The Death of Social Democracy

Clive Hamilton

According to the author, we need a completely new politics built on the world as we find it. In his provocative new essay, he throws out a challenge to the party of social democracy, the Labour Party - to both its true believers...

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 Special priceA Time for War: Australia as a Military Power

A Time for War: Australia as a Military Power

John Birmingham

Bestselling author John Birmingham delves into our new military myths. Why has Anzac Day returned and Vietnam faded? Why do we love war stories again? What does this mean for the troops on the ground?

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Relaxed and Comfortable: The Liberal Party's Australia

Relaxed and Comfortable: The Liberal Party’s Australia

Judith Brett

Australians are relaxed and comfortable with the Liberal Party. What is the party doing right? What is its core appeal to Australian voters? Has John Howard made a dramatic break with the past, or is he simply our robert Menzies?

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The Worried Well

The Worried Well

Gail Bell

What role do drug companies play in the current culture of anti- depressants? This essay is about the widely acknowledged over-prescription of drugs in Australia. It investigates how prescription culture actually operates, and...

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Kangaroo Court

Kangaroo Court

John Hirst

The Family Court was a progressive reform of the 1970s. Now it is the most hated institution in Australia. What went wrong? This is a searching critique of its failures and injustices, supported by accounts of those who have...

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Latham's World: The New Politics of the Outsiders

Latham’s World: The New Politics of the Outsiders

Margaret A. Simons

In the third Quarterly Essay of 2004, Margaret Simons takes a long hard look at Mark Latham, the self-proclaimed 'club buster' and the man who would be prime minister. Few doubt Latham's intelligence and ambition, but what will...

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Quarterly Essay: Mission Impossible - The Sheikhs, the U.S. and the Future of Iraq

Quarterly Essay: Mission Impossible - The Sheikhs, the U.S. and the Future of Iraq

Paul McGeough

In this second Quarterly Essay of 2004 Paul McGeough offers a dramatic account of why Iraq remains in chaos despite desperate American efforts to create a model democracy in the Middle East.

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Sending Them Home

Sending Them Home

R. Manne

This is a groundbreaking and dramatic account of a transformation with global consequences. As other Western nations come to adopt similarly harsh measures, this account will serve as a prophetic evocation and analysis of the...

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Quarterly Essay 12

Quarterly Essay 12

David Malouf

Australia's British inheritance is a paradox that has preoccupied much of Malouf's fiction, and now it gives rise to a brilliant essay exploring Australia's connection with our one-time 'mother-country'. Malouf ponders the...

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Quarterly Essay 10: Bad Company: the Cult of the Ceo

Quarterly Essay 10: Bad Company: the Cult of the Ceo

Gideon Haigh

In the second Quarterly Essay of 2003, Gideon Haigh scrutinises the way we have turned CEOs into tin gods. Is moral outrage the appropriate response to the collapses of Enron or HIH or are we all implicated in a crazy system?...

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Beautiful Lies: Australia's Population and Environmental Sustainability

Beautiful Lies: Australia’s Population and Environmental Sustainability

Tim Flannery

Flannery ignites the population debate and asks how many people Australia can really support. He argues that there is no conflict between maintaining the highest standard of human rights and achieving an environmentally...

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Quarterly Essays 8 : Groundswell : the Rise to the Greens: The Rise of the Greens

Quarterly Essays 8 : Groundswell : the Rise to the Greens: The Rise of the Greens

Amanda Lohrey

The last federal election saw a massive rise in support for the Greens. They doubled their primary vote and scored over $1.4 million in public funding. In a political era when the two major parties are so similar, the time is ripe...

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Paradise Betrayed: West Papua's Struggle for Independence

Paradise Betrayed: West Papua’s Struggle for Independence

John Martinkus

West Papua is today the site of a covert and brutal struggle. Investigative reporter John Martinkus has just returned from the region, where he has spoken to guerillas and Indonesian officers, politicians and ordinary people. His...

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Beyond Belief: What Future for Labor?

Beyond Belief: What Future for Labor?

John Button

The latest in this successful series of current political essays. John Button reveals the workings of the Labor Party today, its successes and failures and where it is heading. Winner of Victorian Premier's Literary Award 2003.

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Girt by Sea: Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear: Girt by Sea: the Refugees and the Politics of Fear

Girt by Sea: Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear: Girt by Sea: the Refugees and the Politics of Fear

Mungo MacCallum

No issue has so divided Australians recently as how to handle the arrival on our shores of asylum seekers. This controversial account of Australia's treatment of refugees by legandary political journalist, Mungo MacCallum, looks...

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Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America

Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America

Don Watson

In a dark, brooding, moody essay, Don Watson plays on the paradoxes of Australia's feeling about America and offers a scathing view of an Australian culture that is asking to be engulfed by its great and powerful friend because...

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Appeasing Jakarta: Australia's Complicity in the East Timor Tragedy

Appeasing Jakarta: Australia’s Complicity in the East Timor Tragedy

John Birmingham

John Birmingham critically examines the Australia-Indonesia relationship. This essay is a controversial account of how the Australian Government's relation to Indonesia is characterised by delusion and misjudgment.

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Breach of Trust: The Price of Mendacity in Politics

Breach of Trust: The Price of Mendacity in Politics

Raimond Gaita

Many people are now dismayed by the relaxed attitude of governments here and abroad towards truth telling. In Australia, examples include WMD and Iraq, 'children overboard' and the Manildra affair. Deceitful 'spin' and denial of...

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In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right

In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right

Robert Manne

Attacks the right-wing campaign against the 'Bringing Them Home' report which revealed how thousands of Aborigines had been taken from their parents.

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The Opportunist: John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction: John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction (Quarterly Essay, 3)

The Opportunist: John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction: John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction (Quarterly Essay, 3)

Guy Rundle

What have the Howard years meant for Australia? In this third election issue of Quarterly Essay, Guy Rundle answers this question and looks ahead to the type of government that will be right for Australia.

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