Manne in a 2001 interview on ABC TV
31 October 1947 |
|Occupation||Academic; political lecturer|
|Years active||1970s – 2012|
Robert Michael Manne (born 31 October 1947) is an Emeritus Professor of politics and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He is a leading Australian public intellectual.
Robert Manne was born in Melbourne to parents who were Jewish refugees from Europe. His earliest political consciousness was shaped by this fact and that both sets of grandparents were victims of the Holocaust. He was educated at the University of Melbourne (1966–69) (BA) (Honours thesis 1969, "George Orwell: Socialist Pamphleteer") and the University of Oxford (BPhil). He joined La Trobe University in Melbourne in its early years. He served there as a professor in politics and culture until retirement in 2012. He is Vice-Chancellor's Fellow and Convenor of The Ideas & Society Program at La Trobe.
He is married to journalist and social philosopher Anne Manne.
Manne's broad interests include twentieth-century European politics (including the Holocaust), Communism, and Australian politics. He has undertaken research in areas such as censorship, anti-semitism, asylum seekers and mandatory detention, Australia's involvement in the Iraq war, the Stolen Generations, and the "history wars" of the 1990s.
Manne has aligned at various times within the Australian political scene from left to right, then back to left again; he titled a compendium of his political essays Left, Right, Left. Between 1989 and 1997 Manne edited the conservative magazine Quadrant, resigning when his editorial policies diverged from the views of the magazine's management committee. He had originally been appointed based on his previous anti-Communist publications and his reputation as a conservative. Some people associated with Quadrant during his editorship believed that he was trying to push the magazine to the left. Since leaving the magazine, Manne has criticised it and the editors who came before - Peter Coleman and Roger Sandall, and after him - P. P. McGuinness and Keith Windschuttle.
In 1996 he published The Culture of Forgetting, which explored the controversy surrounding Helen Demidenko's 1994 Miles Franklin Award-winning novel about the Holocaust, The Hand that Signed the Paper. His book was widely discussed and cited.
Among Manne's other books are The New Conservatism in Australia (1982), In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right (2001), and Do Not Disturb (2005). He edited the 2003 anthology, Whitewash. On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History, as a rebuttal to Keith Windschuttle's claims disputing there was genocide against Indigenous Australians and guerrilla warfare against British settlement on the continent. Contributors included Henry A. Reynolds, who writes on frontier conflict; and Lyndall Ryan, whose book The Aboriginal Tasmanians is one of the main targets of Windschuttle's work.
Manne was Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Monthly, a national magazine of politics, society and the arts, from February 2006 until his resignation on 18 August 2011. He wanted to focus on his writing, "including a new blog to be published on The Monthly's website." Manne's departure as chairman resulted in the editorial board's dissolution, with Monthly editor Ben Naparstek announcing, "We're not going to have one any more.". Manne's blog, entitled Left, Right, Left, had its first post on 12 September.
Over the years, a range of political, economic, philosophical, and academic figures have been influential on Manne, from across the political spectrum. These have included Primo Levi, Václav Havel, George Orwell, Richard Pipes, Sven Lindqvist, Friedrich Hayek, Eric Hobsbawm, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Stiglitz.
- Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (1999).
- In 2005 he was voted Australia's leading public intellectual in a survey conducted by The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Festschrift volume: Tavan Gwenda (ed.). 2013. State of the Nation: Essays for Robert Manne. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature, 2012.
- API Top Australian Public Intellectuals (number 1)
- Manne, R. (1983). The New Conservatism in Australia. Oxford University Press.
- Manne, R. (1987). The Petrov Affair: Politics and Espionage. ISBN 0-08-034425-9.
- Manne, R. (1989). Agent of influence: The life and times of Wilfred Burchett. Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda.
- Manne, R.; Carroll, J., eds. (1992). Shutdown: The Failure of Economic Rationalism and How to Rescue Australia. Melbourne: Text Inc. ISBN 1-86372-008-1.
- Manne, R. (1994). The Shadow of 1917: Cold War Conflict in Australia. Text Pub. Co. ISBN 1-875847-03-0.
- Manne, R. (1996). The Culture of Forgetting: Helen Demidenko and the Holocaust. Melbourne: Text Inc. ISBN 1-875847-26-X.
- Manne, R. (1996). In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right. Self-published.
- Manne, R. (1998). The Way We Live Now: Controversies of the 90's. Melbourne: Text Publishing.
- Manne, R., ed. (1999). The Australian Century: Political Struggle in the Building of a Nation. Melbourne: Text Publishing. ISBN 1-875847-21-9.
- Manne, R. (2001). The barren years: John Howard and Australian political culture. Melbourne: Text Publishing.
- Manne, R., ed. (2003). Whitewash. On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Melbourne: Black Inc. Agenda. ISBN 0-9750769-0-6.
- Manne, R., ed. (2004). The Howard Years. Melbourne: Black Inc. / Schwartz Publishing.
- Manne, R., ed. (2005). Do Not Disturb: Is the Media Failing Australia?. Schwartz Publishing. ISBN 0-9750769-4-9.
- Manne, R. (2005). Left, Right, Left: Political Essays 1977–2005. Schwartz Publishing. ISBN 1-86395-142-3.
- Manne, R.; Beilharz, P., eds. (2006). Reflected Light: La Trobe Essays. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Manne, R., ed. (2009). W. E. H. Stanner, The Dreaming and Other Essays. Melbourne: Black Inc. Agenda.
- Manne, R., ed. (2008). Dear Mr Rudd: Ideas for a Better Australia. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Manne, R.; McKnight, D., eds. (2010). Goodbye to All That? On the Failure of Neo-Liberalism and the Urgency of Change. Melbourne: Black Inc. Agenda.
- Manne, R. (2011). Making Trouble: Essays Against the New Australian Complacency. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Manne, R.; Feik, C., eds. (2012). The Words that Made Australia: How a Nation Came to Know Itself. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Manne, R., ed. (2013). The Best Australian Essays 2013. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- Manne, R., ed. (2014). The Best Australian Essays 2014. Melbourne: Black Inc.
- QE01 In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right (2001) ISBN 978-1-86395-107-4
- QE13 Sending Them Home: Refugees and the New Politics of Indifference (2003) ISBN 978-1-86395-141-8 – With David Corlett
- QE43 Bad News: Murdoch's Australian and the Shaping of the Nation (2011) ISBN 978-1-86395-544-7
- Manne, Robert (March 2006). "Little America: How John Howard has Changed Australia". The Monthly (10). Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Manne, Robert (March 2009). "Neo-Liberal Meltdown: The Response to the Prime Minister's Essay". The Monthly (43): 20–26. Retrieved 13 May 2009.
- Manne, Robert (March 2011). "The Cypherpunk Revolutionary: Julian Assange". The Monthly (65). Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Manne, Robert (August 2012). "A Dark Victory: How vested interests defeated climate science". The Monthly (81). Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Manne, Robert (November 2013). "Why Rupert Murdoch can't be Stopped: The political empire of the News Corp chairman". The Monthly (95). Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "Life and death on the slippery slope". Quadrant 39 (7–8): 2–3. Jul–Aug 1995.
- "Whatever it takes". Quadrant 39 (10): 2–3. Oct 1995.