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AusPol Reading List

Interested in Australian politics? Fascinated by ABC shows Nemesis and Total Control? NewSouth Publishing has a great collection of books to add to your AusPol reading list!

AusPol Reading List
Dive into our curated reading list inspired by ABC's Nemesis, Total Control and Australian politics.

Political Lives: Australian prime ministers and their biographers by Chris Wallace

Political Lives is an intimate history of image-making and image-breaking in national politics. Chris Wallace writes Australian political history anew through this account of prime ministers, their biographies and their biographers. Lively and astute, the book takes us into their motivations and relationships, some well-known and some hidden, and in doing so shows us Australian politics in a fresh light.

Voices of us: The independents’ movement transforming Australian democracy by Tim Dunlop

Australian politics is changing. The two-party system is disappearing, and the balance of power is shifting. While these changes might feel fragile, we may just be on the precipice of a transformative era for democracy in Australia. At the 2022 federal election, Australia voted — not just for change in individual seats — but a realignment of the way in which our political system works. Voices of us tells the inspiring story of the transformation of Australian democracy.

The Morrison Government: Governing through crisis, 2019-2022 edited by Michelle Grattan, Brendan McCaffrie and Chris Wallace

Australia has rarely endured as many difficulties as it did during the COVID-19 pandemic-dominated Morrison Government’s term of office, from its surprise 2019 election win to the 2022 poll. How did government perform? How did policy and administration fare during this tumultuous political period? Was Australia’s national government resilient in the face of the massive pandemic challenge, and how were its operations reshaped by it? Leading journalists and scholars answer these questions in a searching examination of policy and leadership under the Morrison Government.

A Little History of the Australian Labor Party by Frank Bongiorno, Nick Dyrenfurth (pre-order)

The Australian Labor Party is one of the oldest labour parties in the world and the first to form a government. This short, sharp history tells the story of the party’s formation, its successes and failures at winning elections at all levels, its leaders, its key players and the policies that have changed lives. It shows how the ALP has attracted an extraordinary range of members, parliamentary representatives, leaders, unionists, activists and, indeed, opponents.

The Art of Coalition: The Howard Government Experience, 1996–2007 edited by David Lovell, Andrew Blyth

While the Coalition partnership has been pivotal to Australian politics since the Second World War, under the Howard prime ministership — despite occasional tensions — the two parties changed key aspects of Australian life through gun control, telecommunications and taxation reform, and balancing the budget. In The Art of Coalition, Tom Frame, Zareh Ghazarian, Linda Courtenay Botterill, Paul Davey, Joel Fitzgibbon, Tony Abbott and others convey the complexities of maintaining a strong political partnership, and the importance of trust in an effective coalition.

Living Democracy: An ecological manifesto for the end of the world as we know it by Tim Hollo

What if the solutions to our ecological, social and political crises could all be found in the same approach? In Living Democracy, Greens activist Tim Hollo offers bold ideas and a positive vision. It’s the end of the world as we know it, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, around the globe, people and communities are beginning an exciting new journey. This book will inspire you, inform you, and get you fired up to co-create our common future. A living democracy.

Australia’s China Odyssey: From euphoria to fear by James Curran

Australia’s relationship with China is one of the dominant geopolitical stories of our times. The need to understand the tectonic forces of history moving beneath the surface of these critical events has never been more pressing. In Australia’s China Odyssey, acclaimed historian James Curran explores this crucial and complicated relationship through the prism of the prime ministers who have handled relations with Beijing since Whitlam in 1972.

Dear Prime Minister: Letters to Robert Menzies, 1949–1966 by Martyn Lyons

Robert Menzies received 22,000 letters during his record-breaking 1949-1966 second term as Australian Prime Minister. From war veterans, widows and political leaders to school students and homespun philosophers. Ordinary citizens sent their congratulations and grievances and commented on speeches they had heard on radio. They lectured him, quoted Shakespeare and the Bible at him and sent advice on how to eliminate the rabbit problem. In Dear Prime Minister, Menzies’ fabled ‘Forgotten People’ write back.

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