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News: 'No one to learn from' Ken Henry slams APS collective amnesia

‘Decades of government outsourcing and waves of senior redundancies have left much of the nation's public service unable to provide proper and effective advice to politicians and their voters, say two former Treasury bosses.’

Extract: Public servants ignored in favour of spin

‘The periodic mass axing of public service heads upon the arrival of incoming conservative governments has created a caution in the culture. The bureaucracy has been cowed both by the prospect of being sacked and by a reward system which punishes taking risks.’

Read an exclusive extract from Political Amnesia by Laura Tingle online at the Australian Financial Review.

Watch: David Marr and Sophie Black at the Wheeler Centre

David Marr and Sophie Black discuss Bill Shorten and David's latest Quarterly Essay Faction Man at the Wheeler Centre.

Also available to download as a podcast.

News: Shorten 'had no big role in Rudd return'

‘Journalist David Marr has uncovered new details about Mr Shorten's lesser role in the Rudd return in a Quarterly Essay published on Monday entitled Faction Man.’

News: The public doesn’t know what Bill Shorten stands for, or what he thinks

‘The Opposition Leader has had plenty of time to show he has what it takes to lead the nation, but has been found wanting.’

Bill Shorten just wants to be liked, and that's the problem

‘Most politicians have a deep and insatiable need to be loved, but even among those in his own party Bill Shorten's pursuit of affection can seem a little desperate.’

David Marr in The Drum on the problem with Bill Shorten.

News: 2015 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Blood Year by David Kilcullen has been shortlisted for a 2015 Walkley Award.

Watch: The Rise of ISIS and Its Threat: David Kilcullen in conversation with Robert Manne

In this La Trobe University Ideas and Society session at the Wheeler Centre, David Kilcullen, author of the Quarterly EssayBlood Year: Terror and the Islamic State’, and La Trobe University emeritus professor Robert Manne discuss the rise of ISIS and the threat it poses (via The Monthly).

I see no alternative to a larger, more intense conventional war against Isis

‘There are no quick solutions to current global conflict. But we risk a regional conflagration in the Middle East if the west doesn’t do more to contain Isis now.’

Read an extract from Quarterly Essay 58 Blood Year online at the Guardian.

News: QE58 in the Saturday Paper

‘part history, part enlightened analysis, part commentary, part provocation and part mea culpa’ – The Saturday Paper reviews Blood Year by David Kilcullen.

News: State of fear outgrows insurgency label

“Simply put, the Islamic State is, or is on the verge of becoming, what it claims to be: a state.”

Read an extract from QE58: Blood Year by David Kilcullen online at the Sydney Morning Herald.

News: Karen Hitchcock's Quarterly Essay

Stephen Romei writes in the Australian that Dear Life by Karen Hitchcock “should be required reading for every Australian.”

News: That Sinking Feeling wins Walkley Award

Quarterly Essay congratulates Paul Toohey on winning the best long feature-writing prize at the Walkley Awards. His essay That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution is a powerful and original work of reportage that reveals the lives of asylum seekers and the politics of Australia's response to them.

News: 2014 John Button Prize longlist

Quarterly Essay 50 Unfinished Business by Anna Goldsworthy and Quarterly Essay 53 That Sinking Feeling by Paul Toohey have been been longlisted for the 2014 John Button Prize.

News: 2013 John Button Prize longlist

Quarterly Essay 46 Great Expectations by Laura Tingle, Quarterly Essay 47 Political Animal by David Marr, Quarterly Essay 48 After the Future by Tim Flannery and Quarterly Essay 49 Not Dead Yet by Mark Latham have all been longlisted for the 2013 John Button Prize.

News: Political Animal shortlisted for 2013 John Button Prize

Quarterly Essay 47 Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott by David Marr has been shortlisted for the 2013 John Button Prize.


Event: James Brown in conversation with Dr John Blaxland

James Brown in conversation with Dr John Blaxland about Quarterly Essay 62 Firing Line.


Date: 29 June 2016
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building (120), McCoy Circuit, ANU
Tickets: Free event. Please book online.

Event: James Brown in conversation with John Faulkner

James Brown in conversation with John Faulkner.


Date: 30 June 2016
Time: 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start.
Venue: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW.
Tickets: $12/$9 concession/gleeclub free. Book online or phone 02 9660 2333

Event: James Brown author talk

James Brown talks about Firing Line.


Date: 5 July 2016
Time: 1:00pm
Venue: Stanton Library, 234 Miller St, North Sydney, NSW 2060.
Tickets: Free event.

Event: James Brown in conversation with Gordon Flake

The Perth USAsia Centre and The City of Perth Library with Boffins Books are delighted to invite you attend a compelling public discussion featuring James Brown, a former Australian Army officer who served in Iraq.


Date: 6 July 2016
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: City of Perth Library, 573 Hay Street, Perth.
Tickets: Free event. Please book online.

Event: James Brown author talk

Former Australian Army officer James Brown will talk about his Quarterly Essay, drawing on history, strategy and his own experiences to explore Australia's military experience from Gallipoli to Afghanistan and Iraq.


Date: 14 July 2016
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Potts Point Bookshop, 14 Macleay St, Sydney, NSW 2011.
Tickets: Free event. Please book online.