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Judith Brett Judith Brett i(A21030 works by)
Born: Established: 1949 ;
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Academic and writer.

Judith Brett completed a PhD on Hugo von Hofmannsthal (an Austrian literary prodigy) at Melbourne University in 1980.

During the 1980s, she was editor of Meanjin (1982-86) and the Times on Sunday (1987), before beginning her career in political studies at La Trobe University in 1989. During the late 1990s, she wrote a fortnightly column for the Melbourne Age. She has contributed regularly to the Monthly and has written three Quarterly Essays (as at 2018).

Since 1989, Brett has published regularly on political topics, including a political biography of Robert Menzies, a study of the Howard government, and a biography of Alfred Deakin.

Robert Menzies' Forgotten People won the Ernest Scott Prize (1992-1993), the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (1993) and the NSW Premier's Literary Award (1993). Her work Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class (Cambridge University Press, 2003) won the 2004 Ernest Scott History Prize.

In 2018, she was emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2004 winner Ernest Scott Prize for Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: from Alfred Deakin to John Howard

Awards for Works

The Enigmatic Mr Deakin 2017 single work biography

'This insightful and accessible new biography of Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second prime minister, shines fresh light on one of the nation’s most significant figures. It brings out from behind the image of a worthy, bearded father of federation the gifted, passionate and intriguing man whose contributions continue to shape the contours of Australian politics.

'The acclaimed political scientist Judith Brett scrutinises both Deakin’s public life and his inner life. Deakin’s private papers reveal a solitary, religious character who found distasteful much of the business of politics, with its unabashed self-interest, double-dealing, and mediocre intellectual levels. And yet politics is where Deakin chose to do his life’s work.

'Destined to become a classic of biography, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin is a masterly portrait of a complex man who was instrumental in creating modern Australia.' (Publication Summary)
 

2018 shortlisted ASAL Awards The Australian Historical Association Awards Magarey Medal for Biography
2018 longlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2018 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
2018 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Biography of the Year
Robert Menzies' Forgotten People 1992 single work biography

'In 1941, RG Menzies delivered to war-time Australia what was to be his richest, most creative speech, and one of his most influential. 'The Forgotten People' was a direct address to the Australian middle class, the "people" who would return him to power in 1949 and keep him there until his retirement in 1966.

'Who were these "forgotten people"? The middle class pitting their values of hard work and independence against the collectivist ethos of labour? Women, shunning the class-based politics of men? The parents of Menzies' childhood in the small country town of Jeparit? Australians struggling to maintain a derivative culture at the edges of the British Empire? Or all of them, in a richly over-determined image that takes us to the heart of Menzies' mid-life political transformation?

'Judith Brett deftly traces the links between the private and public meanings of Menzies' political language to produce compelling insights into the man and the culture he represented.' (Publisher's blurb)

1993 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards A. A. Phillips Prize for Australian Studies
1993 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
1992-1993 winner Ernest Scott Prize
Last amended 6 Mar 2018 14:04:50
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