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

Travelling in the Midwest, Watson reflects on the rise of Donald Trump and the “thicket of unreality” that is the American media. Behind this he finds a deeply fearful and divided culture. Watson considers the irresistible pull – for Americans – of the Dream of exceptionalism, and asks whether this creed is reaching its limit. He explores alternate futures – from Trump-style fascism to Sanders-style civic renewal – and suggests that a Clinton presidency might see a new American blend of progressivism and militarism. Enemy Within is an eloquent, barbed look at the state of the union and the American malaise.

Read an extract

Every four years the people of the United States of America choose the person they think most likely to keep them free and safe; and best placed to decide what their country’s interests are and how they should be pursued.

Download the app

Recent Issues

Quarterly Essay 62
Australia's Path to War
James Brown

Going to war may be the gravest decision a nation and its leaders make. At the moment, Australia is at war with ISIS. We also live in a region that has become much more volatile, as China asserts itself and America seeks to hold the line.


Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act
Quarterly Essay 61
Australia Between Recession and Renewal
George Megalogenis

In this urgent essay, George Megalogenis argues that Australia risks becoming globalisation’s next and most unnecessary victim. The next shock, whenever it comes, will find us with our economic guard down, and a political system that has shredded its authority.

Political Amnesia: Laura Tingle
Quarterly Essay 60
How We Forgot How To Govern
Laura Tingle

Whatever happened to good government? What are the signs of bad government? And can Malcolm Turnbull apply the lessons of the past in a very different world?

Sign up to receive our Friends of Quarterly Essay newsletter

Best Sellers

Quarterly Essay 50: Unfinished Business
Quarterly Essay 50
Sex, freedom and misogyny
Anna Goldsworthy

Anna Goldsworthy examines life for women after the gains made by feminism.

Quarterly Essay 37: What's Right?
Quarterly Essay 37
The future of conservatism in Australia
Waleed Aly

Waleed Aly begins by unravelling the terms “Right” and “Left,” arguing that these have become meaningless. Conservatives no longer seem to have a compelling vision of the future. How did the Right end up in this state? How might conservatism renew itself?

Quarterly Essay 34: Stop At Nothing
Quarterly Essay 34
The life and adventures of Malcolm Turnbull
Annabel Crabb

What does Malcolm Turnbull stand for? In Stop at Nothing Annabel Crabb tells the story of the man who would be prime minister. This is a scintillating portrait by one of the country's most incisive reporters.