In the third Quarterly Essay of 2003, Germaine Greer suggests that embracing Aboriginality is the only way Australia can fully imagine itself as a nation. In this sweeping and magisterial work, she looks at the interdependence of black and white and suggests not how the Aborigine question may be settled, but rather how a sense of being Aboriginal might save the soul of Australia. Touching on everything from Henry Lawson to multiculturalism, Greer argues that Australia must enter the Aboriginal ´´web of dreams´´. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Germaine Greer. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001187/bk_boli_001187_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the second Quarterly Essay of 2005, Gail Bell investigates Australia´s depression epidemic. Why, she wonders, do well over a million Australians now take anti-depressant drugs? This is a fresh, frank and independent look at the depression culture and the move to medicalise sadness. Bell examines how the prescription culture operates, scrutinising the role of big drug companies and GPs and talking to those who take - and don´t take - the new anti-depressants, from anxious students to lonely retirees. She finds that drug companies have invested billions in an effort to simplify a profoundly complex mental condition, and that along the way ordinary problems of living have been transformed into medical conditions. She also finds that we, the consumers, have been happy to get on board: The vocabulary of depression - ´´serotonin´´, ´´bipolar´´, ´´genetic predisposition´´ - rolls off our tongues as if each of us had studied it at medical school. In this free-ranging and elegant essay, Bell takes the pulse of Australia´s ´´worried well´´ and looks at alternative cures for what ails us. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Gail Bell. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001190/bk_boli_001190_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
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 this amount to in government? Simons argues that if Labor is elected, it will not be ´´business as usual´´. Rather we can expect a reformist government in the spirit - if not the letter - of Latham´s political tutor, Gough Whitlam. It is also likely to be a government that has little time for the totemic issues of the Labor elites. This is an essay that takes the political pulse of the nation - it is clear-eyed, probing, anchored in observation and an original analysis of the political state of play. It ventures into the murky world of Liverpool Council, where Latham made enemies and ran the show. It reserves harsh words for those in the media who have ignored Latham´s ideas and community campaigning in favour of rumour-mongering. Above all, it reveals Latham as a conviction politician and an acute thinker, with a prescient understanding of how the urban fringe now drives the politics of the nation. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Margaret Simons. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001188/bk_boli_001188_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
From the Hillsong Church to the Family First Party, Australia appears to be experiencing an evangelical revival. In the second Quarterly Essay for 2006, Amanda Lohrey investigates that revival - its shape and scope, and what it means for the mainstream churches and the nation´s politics. She talks to young believers and analyses the machinations of the Christian Right. She discusses, with humour and insight, the appeal of the megachurch, the changing image of Jesus and the political theories of George Pell and Peter Jensen. ´´Voting for Jesus´´ is also an essay about the use and abuse of religion in party politics. Examining the success of Family First, Lohrey argues that Christians in politics have far less influence than they would like - the government uses them when convenient and otherwise disregards them. Blending individual interviews with political argument, she makes a subtle case for the blessings of secularism and the variety of spiritual encounters it makes possible. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Marie-Louise Walker. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001189/bk_boli_001189_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Where were you when America elected Barack Obama? Kate Jennings was in New York, eyes wide open, completing her take on an amazing time: ´´the run-up to the election... a time when every day felt like a year and we became slightly crazed from worry but also mesmerised, unable to switch off the cable news stations, obsessively tracking the DOW, VIX, LIBOR spreads, polls in red states. So much at stake.´´ American Revolution is a dazzling and perceptive look at the United States between hope and despair: an election-year kaleidoscope. Jennings describes how and why the US economy fell off a cliff and how an apparently endless run of primaries and an increasingly rancorous campaign culminated in a world-changing victory. She surveys the characters - Obama, Palin, McCain and the Clintons - and conveys the concepts - derivatives, bailouts and moral hazard. This is an essay that shows America in fascinating flux: it is witty and poetic, acute and evocative. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Marie-Louise Walker. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001186/bk_boli_001186_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
John Howard has the loudest voice in Australia. He has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced NGOs, censored the arts, prosecuted leakers, criminalised protest and curtailed parliamentary scrutiny. Though touted as a contest of values, this has been a party-political assault on Australia´s liberal culture. In the name of ´´balance´´, the Liberal Party has muscled its way into the intellectual life of the country. And this has happened because we let it happen. Once again, Howard has shown his superb grasp of Australia as it really is. In His Master´s Voice, David Marr investigates both a decade of suppression and the strange willingness of Australians to watch, with such little angst, their liberties drift away. 1. Language: English. Narrator: David Marr. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001193/bk_boli_001193_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In Love & Money, Anne Manne looks at the religion of work - its high priests and sacrificial lambs. As family life and motherhood feel the pressure of the market, she asks whether the chief beneficiaries are self-interested employers and child-care corporations. This is an essay that ranges widely and entertainingly across contemporary culture: It casts an inquisitive eye over the modern marriage of Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein, and considers the time-bind and the shadow economy of care. Most fundamentally, it is an essay about pressure: the pressure to balance care for others and the world of work. Manne argues that devaluing motherhood - still central to so many women´s lives - has done feminism few favours. For women on the frontline of the work-centred society, it has made for hard choices. Eloquently and persuasively, Manne tells what happened when feminism adapted itself to the free market and argues that any true definition of equality has to take into account dependency and care for others. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Anne Manne. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001194/bk_boli_001194_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Sometime this century, after 4 billion years, some of Earth´s regulatory systems will pass from control through evolution by natural selection, to control by human intelligence. Will humanity rise to the challenge? This landmark essay by Tim Flannery is about sustainability, our search for it in the 21st century, and the impact it might have on the environmental threats that confront us today. Flannery discusses in detail three potential solutions to the most pressing of the sustainability challenges: climate change. He argues that Australia has a special responsibility when it comes to climate change, and that our prime minister could be a critical player on the global stage in Copenhagen in December 2009 - but only if we take swift and effective action and make sharp cuts in emissions. Brilliant and terrifying, Now or Never is a call to arms by Australia´s leading thinker and writer on the natural world. ´´Throughout the latter part of 2007 and into 2008, I found it increasingly hard to read the scientific findings on climate change without despairing.... I think that there is now a better than even chance that, despite our best efforts, in the coming two or three decades Earth´s climate system will pass the point of no return.´´ (Tim Flannery, Now Or Never) 1. Language: English. Narrator: Tim Flannery. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001185/bk_boli_001185_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Quarterly Essay 43 Bad News:Murdoch´s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation Robert Manne
This year has seen unprecedented scrutiny of Rupert Murdoch’s empire in Britain. But what about in Australia, where he owns 70 per cent of the press? In Bad News, Robert Manne investigates Murdoch’s lead political voice here, the Australian newspaper, and how it shapes debate. Since 2002, under the editorship of Chris Mitchell, the Australian has come to see itself as judge, jury and would-be executioner of leaders and policies. Is this a dangerous case of power without responsibility? In a series of devastating case studies, Manne examines the paper’s campaigns against the Rudd government and more recently the Greens, its climate change coverage and its ruthless pursuit of its enemies and critics. Manne also considers the standards of the paper and its influence more generally. This brilliant essay is part deep analysis and part vivid portrait of what happens when a newspaper goes rogue. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Robert Manne. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/boli/001091/bk_boli_001091_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.