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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Brett is emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University and one of Australia’s leading political thinkers. A former editor of Meanjin and columnist for The Age, she won the National Biography Award in 2018 for The Enigmatic Mr Deakin. Her other books include From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting, Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People and Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class.

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What is the Liberal Party's core appeal to Australian voters?
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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Judith Brett's elegent account of the Liberal Party's Australia rightly emphasises older nationalist and individualist themes that John Howard has exploited.

Ian Marsh

Brett's is a sober analysis and not one of moral outrage. The essay represents a challenge to the leftist sense that under Howard, as Chicken Licken said, 'The sky is falling!'

David Corlett

Judith Brett's essay is important because it makes no attempt to lionise or demonise John Howard. It seeks merely to examine the reasons for his phenomenal run and does so with great precision.

Graham Richardson

Judith Brett has once more shown herself to be one of the foremost commentators on the Liberal Party's political role. It is really the fact that her essay is so good that has prompted my response.

David Kemp

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Cover of Quarterly Essay 79 by Katharine Murphy
Cover of Quarterly Essay 78 – Judith Brett on the Politics of Denial: Australia's coal addiction
Cry Me a River Subtitle The Tragedy of the Murray–Darling Basin
Image of cover of Quarterly Essay 76
Cover of Quarterly Essay 75 by Annabel Crabb
Cover of Quarterly Essay QE74
Quarterly Essay 71 book cover