David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is the author of five bestselling Quarterly Essays.


This is an essay born of despair, an angry cry from the heart about the impoverishment of mainstream public debate in this country, delivered with passion and eloquence.

Julianne Schultz, Sydney Morning Herald

Marr’s analysis … clearly delineates the national somnolence and the consequences for the country when its people are sedated: power is unchecked.

The Age

With customary eloquence, it mourned an Australian public service cowed by the Prime Minister into abject fear and supine silence.

Peter Shergold, Canberra Times

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