Welcome to Beyond Right and Left

I have established this site to connect with people interested in my book, 'Beyond Right and Left: New Politics and the Culture war'.

In the coming weeks I will publish extracts from the book on this site, as well as other articles. I'd love to hear your comments and engage in a conversation with you about the ideas in my book.

The book is the result of several years of wondering about the reasons that the Right has so completely come to dominate the political agenda. In researching the book, I found very early that while a lot of people complain about the Right, not many have grappled the ideas and arguments. It's a mirror image of people who used to complain about the Left, in the days when it was setting the political agenda.

But the book is more than this. It tries to grapple with some of the ideas of the Left which need to be revitalised, re-thought and discarded. In the book I focus on political ideas because at bottom that is where the strength of any movement lies. This is the case with the contemporary Right and it was the case with the Left (in all its multiple forms)

My own background is from the Left. I first worked as a journalist on Tribune, the now defunct weekly newspaper of the Communist Party. I was deeply influenced by feminism, by struggles against racism and for radical social change. I still hold to most of the ideals but I argue that they need to be re-thought. In terms of my working life, after Tribune, I did a period of freelancing, then I worked on the Sydney Morning Herald, and later on ABC TV's Four Corners. Along the way I have written two books on the history of the Cold War. And in terms of my personal life, I am an avid bushwalker and canyoner. I became a father 20 years ago (I talk about this unexpected transformation in Chapter 7 of the book).

My growing passion is the environment - I was always a bit of a greenie, but as each day passes, the global environment looks like the issue of the century, with the potential for changing our lives in disturbing and unexpected ways.

So read the extracts, read the book and make contact!

Warm regards,

David McKnight