Quarterly Essay

Quarterly Essay 78: The Coal Curse - Resources, Climate and Australia's Future

Quarterly Essay 78: The Coal Curse - Resources, Climate and Australia’s Future

Judith Brett

In this nuanced and insightful essay, Judith Brett looks at the consequences of Australia's coal addiction, from stalled climate-change policy to tensions between farmers and miners. She assesses where to next for a fractious...

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Quarterly Essay 77: Cry Me A River - The Tragedy of the Murray-Darling Basin

Quarterly Essay 77: Cry Me A River - The Tragedy of the Murray-Darling Basin

Margaret Simons

The Murray-Darling Basin is the food bowl of Australia, and it's in trouble. What does this mean for the future - for water and food, and for the people and towns that depend on it?

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Quarterly Essay 76: Red Flag - Waking Up to China's Challenge

Quarterly Essay 76: Red Flag - Waking Up to China’s Challenge

Peter Hartcher

China has become a key nation for Australia's future - for our security, economy and identity. But what are China's intentions and strategy when it comes to Australia?

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Quarterly Essay 75: Men at Work: Australia's Parenthood Trap

Quarterly Essay 75: Men at Work: Australia’s Parenthood Trap

Annabel Crabb

In this Quarterly Essay, Annabel Crabb deploys political observation, workplace research and her characteristic humour and intelligence to argue that gender equity cannot be achieved until men are as free to leave...

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Quarterly Essay 74: The Prosperity Gospel -- How Scott Morrison Won and Bill Shorten Lost

Quarterly Essay 74: The Prosperity Gospel – How Scott Morrison Won and Bill Shorten Lost

Erik Jensen

A dazzling and insightful look at the federal election, built from pen portraits and reports from the campaign trail.

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Quarterly Essay 73: Australia Fair - Listening to the Nation

Quarterly Essay 73: Australia Fair - Listening to the Nation

Rebecca Huntley

In this vivid, grounded essay, Rebecca Huntley looks at the state of the nation and asks: what does social-democratic Australia want, and why?

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Quarterly Essay 72: Net Loss - The Inner Life in the Digital Age

Quarterly Essay 72: Net Loss - The Inner Life in the Digital Age

Sebastian Smee

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Quarterly Essay 71: Follow the Leader - Democracy and the Rise of the Strongman

Quarterly Essay 71: Follow the Leader - Democracy and the Rise of the Strongman

Laura Tingle

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Quarterly Essay 70: Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next

Quarterly Essay 70: Dead Right: How Neoliberalism Ate Itself and What Comes Next

Richard Denniss

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Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia's Future

Quarterly Essay 69: Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future

Mark McKenna

Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with the past. Indigenous recognition and a new push for a republic await action.

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Quarterly Essay 68: Without America - Australia in the New Asia

Quarterly Essay 68: Without America - Australia in the New Asia

Hugh White

America is fading, and China will soon be the dominant power in our region. What does this mean for Australia's future?

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Quarterly Essay 67: Moral Panic 101 - Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal

Quarterly Essay 67: Moral Panic 101 - Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal

Benjamin Law

Are Australian schools safe? And if they're not, what happens when kids are caught in a bleak collision between ill-equipped school staff and a confected media scandal?

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Quarterly Essay 66: The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia's Climate Deadlock

Quarterly Essay 66: The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock

Anna Krien

The Great Barrier Reef is dying. Extreme weather is becoming all too familiar. And the Coalition government is divided and paralysed.

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Quarterly Essay 65: The White Queen - One Nation and the Politics of Race

Quarterly Essay 65: The White Queen - One Nation and the Politics of Race

David Marr

Most Australians despise what Pauline Hanson stands for, yet politics in this country is now orbiting around One Nation.

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Quarterly Essay 64: The Australian Dream - Blood, History and Becoming

Quarterly Essay 64: The Australian Dream - Blood, History and Becoming

Stan Grant

In a landmark essay, Stan Grant writes Indigenous people back into the economic and multicultural history of Australia. This is the fascinating story of how fringe dwellers fought not just to survive, but to prosper. Their legacy...

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Quarterly Essay 63: Enemy Within - American Politics in the Time of Trump

Quarterly Essay 63: Enemy Within - American Politics in the Time of Trump

Don Watson

In Enemy Within, Don Watson takes a memorable journey into the heart of the United States in the year 2016 - and the strangest election campaign that country has seen.

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Quarterly Essay 62: Firing Line - Australia's Path to War

Quarterly Essay 62: Firing Line - Australia’s Path to War

James Brown

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Quarterly Essay Issue 59: Faction Man - Bill Shorten's Path to Power

Quarterly Essay Issue 59: Faction Man - Bill Shorten’s Path to Power

David Marr

The top job is within Bill Shorten's grasp. But who is he? How did he rise to become Labor leader? And does he have what it takes to beat Malcolm Turnbull and lead the country?

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Quarterly Essay 57: Dear Life - On Caring for the Elderly

Quarterly Essay 57: Dear Life - On Caring for the Elderly

Karen Hitchcock

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Clivosaurus: The Politics of Clive Palmer: Quarterly Essay 56

Clivosaurus: The Politics of Clive Palmer: Quarterly Essay 56

Guy Rundle

In Clivosaurus, Guy Rundle observes Palmer close up, examining his rise to prominence, his beliefs, his deals and his politics - not to mention his poetry. Rundle shows that neither the government nor the media have been able to...

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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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 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: Quarterly Essay 49

Not Dead Yet: Labor’s Post-Left Future: Quarterly Essay 49

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, Louise Crawford

Rather than relaxed and comfortable, Australians are disenchanted with politics and politicians. In this brilliant short book - an expanded and updated version of her acclaimed Quarterly Essay - Laura Tingle shows that the...

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Man-Made World: Choosing between Progress and Planet: Quarterly Essay 44

Man-Made World: Choosing between Progress and Planet: Quarterly Essay 44

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: Quarterly Essay 43

Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation: Quarterly Essay 43

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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 Read reviewPolitical Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott: Quarterly Essay 47

Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott: Quarterly Essay 47

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 of Contentment in the Modern World: Quarterly Essay 41

The Happy Life: The Search of Contentment in the Modern World: Quarterly Essay 41

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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Power Shift: Australia's Future Between Washington and Beijing: Quarterly Essay 39

Power Shift: Australia’s Future Between Washington and Beijing: Quarterly Essay 39

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: Quarterly Essay 38

Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd: Quarterly Essay 38

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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Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country: Quarterly Essay 36

Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country: Quarterly Essay 36

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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Quarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom: Quarterly Essay 33

Quarry Vision: Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom: Quarterly Essay 33

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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American Revolution: The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama: Quarterly Essay 32

American Revolution: The Fall of Wall Street and the Rise of Barack Obama: Quarterly Essay 32

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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Exit Right: The Unravelling of John Howard: Quarterly Essay 28

Exit Right: The Unravelling of John Howard: Quarterly Essay 28

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: Quarterly Essay 27

Reaction Time: Climate Change and the Nuclear Option: Quarterly Essay 27

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: The Corruption of Public Debate Under Howard: Quarterly Essay 26

His Master’s Voice: The Corruption of Public Debate Under Howard: Quarterly Essay 26

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: Quarterly Essay 25

Bipolar Nation: How to Win the 2007 Election: Quarterly Essay 25

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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The History Question: Who Owns the Past?: Quarterly Essay 23

The History Question: Who Owns the Past?: Quarterly Essay 23

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: Christianity and Politics in Australia: Quarterly Essay 22

Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia: Quarterly Essay 22

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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What's Left?: The Death of Social Democracy: Quarterly Essay 21

What’s Left?: The Death of Social Democracy: Quarterly Essay 21

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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A Time For War: The Rebirth of Australia's Military Culture: Quarterly Essay 20

A Time For War: The Rebirth of Australia’s Military Culture: Quarterly Essay 20

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 & Comfortable: The Liberal Party's Australia: Quarterly Essay 19

Relaxed & Comfortable: The Liberal Party’s Australia: Quarterly Essay 19

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 Depression Epidemic and Medicalisation of Our Sorrows: Quarterly Essay 18

The Worried Well: The Depression Epidemic and Medicalisation of Our Sorrows: Quarterly Essay 18

Gail Bell

An essay about the widely acknowledged over prescription of drugs in Australia. Always conscious of the real suffering behind the frenzied consumption, it nevertheless questions the new culture of diagnosing, pathologising and...

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Kangaroo Court: Family Law Court in Australia: Quarterly Essay 17

Kangaroo Court: Family Law Court in Australia: Quarterly Essay 17

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: Quarterly Essay 15

Latham’s World: The New Politics of the Outsiders: Quarterly Essay 15

Margaret Simons

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Mission Impossible: The Sheikhs, The US and The Future of Iraq: Quarterly Essay 14

Mission Impossible: The Sheikhs, The US and The Future of Iraq: Quarterly Essay 14

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: Refugees and the New Politics of Indifference: Quarterly Essay 13

Sending Them Home: Refugees and the New Politics of Indifference: Quarterly Essay 13

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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Made in England: Australia's British Inheritance: Quarterly Essay 12

Made in England: Australia’s British Inheritance: 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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Bad Company: The Cult of the CEO: Quarterly Essay 10

Bad Company: The Cult of the CEO: Quarterly Essay 10

Gideon Haigh

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Beautiful Lies: Population & Environment in Australia: Quarterly Essay 9

Beautiful Lies: Population & Environment in Australia: Quarterly Essay 9

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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Groundswell: The Rise of the Greens: Quarterly Essay 8

Groundswell: The Rise of the Greens: Quarterly Essay 8

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: Quarterly Essay 7

Paradise Betrayed: West Papua’s Struggle for Independence: Quarterly Essay 7

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?: Quarterly Essay 6

Beyond Belief: What Future for Labor?: Quarterly Essay 6

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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Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America: Quarterly Essay 4

Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America: Quarterly Essay 4

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: Quarterly Essay 2

Appeasing Jakarta: Australia’s Complicity in the East: Quarterly Essay 2

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: Truth, Morality & Politics: Quarterly Essay 16

Breach of Trust: Truth, Morality & Politics: Quarterly Essay 16

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: Quarterly Essay 1

In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right: Quarterly Essay 1

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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Quarterly Essay 3: The Opportunist - John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction

Quarterly Essay 3: The Opportunist - John Howard and the Triumph of Reaction

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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