Robert Manne

Robert Manne


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One of Australia’s leading public intellectuals, Robert has written or edited over 20 books, including The Petrov Affair: Politics and Espionage and Left, Right, Left: Political Essays 1977–2005. His recent works include Cypherpunk Revolutionary: On Julian Assange, (2015); The Mind of the Islamic State, (2016); and his 2018 collection of essays On Borrowed Time, which address topics that have shaped our world over the last five years. Robert is Emeritus Professor of politics at La Trobe University and is a regular contributor to The Monthly and The Guardian.

The child of European Jewish refugees, Robert gained his history degree at the University of Melbourne and in 1969 he won a Shell Scholarship that enabled him to complete a doctorate in international relations at Oxford. Appointed as a lecturer in politics at La Trobe University in 1975, he was a public affairs columnist for the Murdoch Press and Fairfax Media between 1987 and 2004, and also a regular commentator on ABC Radio. Editor of the conservative journal Quadrant from 1989 to 1997, he was the chair of the editorial board of The Monthly from 2006 to 2011.

Robert’s published work also includes The Culture of Forgetting: Helen Demidenko and the Holocaust; Whitewash: Keith Windschuttle and the Fabrication of Aboriginal History; The Howard Years; Dear Mr Rudd: Ideas for a Better Australia; and Making Trouble: Essays against the New Australian Complacency.

Following life-saving throat cancer surgery in late 2016, there was a period when Robert wasn’t sure that he would ever speak again. But while he may now be reduced to a loud whisper (‘Everything I say sounds like a secret,’ he comments), in finding his voice again and through his writing, Robert is back with his insightful thoughts and contributions to the public discourse.