'In Denial is not a book of history. It is a political intervention. By holding an influential section of the Right to account-Manne was exercising the kind of responsibility often demanded of public intellectuals.' --Raimond Gaita
'In complex intellectual conflicts, there will always be argument about whether the antagonists are committed to finding the truth or to winning the battle. This essay tells us that Robert Manne is intent on finding the truth.' --Morag Fraser
'In Denial is a work of both the head and the heart. It is carefully researched and powerfully expressed. It needs to be widely read.' --The Hon. P.J Keating, 6 April 2001
'Robert Manne has made an important contribution to the continuing debate and in doing so has helped launch a new and important venture.' --Henry Reynolds
In Quarterly Essay 48 Tim Flannery says: we’re often failing nature. In the clash between money and conservation, money usually wins. State governments have begun allowing mining and other incursions into national parks. A new wave of extinctions is taking place. Politically, conservationists and conservatives are at odds.
But why? Surely conservatives and conservationists should be able to find common cause when it comes to preserving our natural heritage? And given that we have never known more about how to protect biodiversity, shouldn’t it be possible to halt the march of extinctions?
This essay is both a wake-up call to the consequences of unrestrained development, and an examination of the underlying thinking – the view of the natural world that sees it as something either to be put to use or traded off. By contrast, Flannery asks, how might we best understand, conserve and co-exist with the natural world?
Ours is a society in which ageism, often disguised, threatens to turn the elderly into a “burden” – difficult, hopeless, expensive and homogenous. While we rightly seek to curb treatment when it is futile, harmful or against a patient’s wishes, this can sometimes lead to limits on care that suit the system rather than the person. Doctors may declare a situation hopeless when it may not be so.
We must plan for a future when more of us will be old, Hitchcock argues, with the aim of making that time better, not shorter. And we must change our institutions and society to meet the needs of an ageing population. Dear Life is a landmark essay by one of Australia’s most powerful writers.
“The elderly, the frail are our society. They are our parents and grandparents, our carers and neighbours, and they are every one of us in the not-too-distant future . . . They are not a growing cost to be managed or a burden to be shifted or a horror to be hidden away, but people whose needs require us to change . . .” —Karen Hitchcock, Dear Life
In this dramatic essay, David Marr traces the hidden career of a Labor warrior.
He shows how a brilliant recruiter and formidable campaigner mastered first the unions and then the party. Marr presents a man willing to deal with his enemies and shift his allegiances, whose ambition to lead has been fixed since childhood.
But does he stand for anything? Is Shorten a defender of Labor values in today’s Australia or a shape-shifter, driven entirely by politics? How does the union world he comes from shape the prime minister he might be? Marr reveals a man we hardly know: a virtuoso with numbers and a strategist of skill who Labor hopes will return the party to power.
Yet this flourishing co-exists with the boys of Don Dale, and the many others like them who live in the shadows of the nation. Grant examines how such Australians have been denied the possibilities of life, and argues eloquently that history is not destiny; that culture is not static. In doing so, he makes the case for a more capacious Australian Dream.
‘The idea that I am Australian hits me with a thud. It is a blinding self-realisation that collides with the comfortable notion of who I am. To be honest, for an Indigenous person, it can feel like a betrayal somehow – at the very least, a capitulation. We are so used to telling ourselves that Australia is a white country: am I now white? The reality is more ambiguous … To borrow from Franz Kafka, identity is a cage in search of a bird.’ —Stan Grant, The Australian Dream
Written with drama and wit, this is a ground-breaking look at politics and prejudice by one of Australia’s best writers.
“This woman went to prison, danced the cha-cha on national television for a couple of years, and failed so often at the ballot box she became a running joke. But the truth is she never left us. She was always knocking on the door. Most of those defeats at the polls were close-run things. For twenty years political leaders appeased Hanson’s followers while working to keep her out of office. The first strategy tainted Australian politics. The second eventually failed. So she’s with us again – the Kabuki make-up, that mop of red hair and the voice telling us what we already know: ‘I’m fed up.’” —David Marr