Don Watson


Don Watson
Don Watson is an award-winning author and former speechwriter for Paul Keating. His books include Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PMAmerican JourneysThe Bush, the Quarterly Essay ‘Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump’ and There It Is Again, a collection of his writing.



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Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

The Book Show and Ramona Koval

Culture

For Tolstoy, art was not a place to look for pleasure, but for communion  with each other. Art was one of the conditions of our existence, “necessary for life and for the movement toward the good of the individual man and of mankind, uniting …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Riding high

Society

The Toyota HiLux and the tradie’s new world

Paul Keating in 2007. © Idpercy/Flickr

Political leadership in Australia

Politics

It is now all but universally agreed that the Australian Labor party is a near-ruin, ruled body and soul by factional bosses and opinion pollsters. To the public the party presents the spectacle of governance either by faceless men, or by men with unappealing …

Barack Obama takes one last look in the mirror, before going out to take oath, January 20, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

From the chrysalis

Politics

The young waitress in the restaurant said Obama scared her. She just didn’t like him. It was scary what would happen if he won, she said. The guys in the kitchen had told her his father was a terrorist. And a Muslim. Three hours later, in the south-eastern …

Barack Obama at campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Image: TonyTheTiger at en.wikipedia

Once upon a time in America

Politics

Getting elected in Zanesville, Ohio

After Katrina

Politics

Sixty-eight-year-old Lloyd Griffin sits on the verandah of his new house in New Orleans' once notorious Ninth Ward. The house is painted in startling deep orange with white trim, and the two-metre stilts on which it stands give Lloyd a view of the new …

Anzac Day match, April 2010. © Gavin Anderson/Flickr

Digging

Society

A moral equivalent to Anzac Day

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Society of birds

Society

EE Cummings prayed that his heart would always be open to little birds. My family, the maternal side especially, has always shared some of his sentiment. It goes back to the clearing of the forest. As the trees went, the little birds came and dwelt in …

Iconography

nation_reviewed

Imagine for a moment that George Orwell was right when he said that words have precise and specific meanings and we should do our best to stick to them when we speak or write. Orwell argued that "slovenly" language made it harder to think clearly, and …

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