Quarterly Essay 8 Groundswell
The Rise of the Greens
Who are the Greens, where do they come from and where are they going? In the wake of the Cunningham by-election and the Tasmanian results Amanda Lohrey, novelist and political thinker, looks at the philosophical background of the Greens, the history of the campaigns to save the wilderness and the election figures that suggest the Greens are making powerful advances towards becoming the major 'minor' party in Australia.
This is a compelling portrait of the Greens and of their leader Bob Brown which depicts them as the most formidable attempt that has been made on the Left to deal with the damage of globalisation.
‘In Australia it is the Green, not the Democrats, who have emerged as the authentic representatives of this developing constituency … They are not a collection of ersatz Liberals … [they] are clear on the bottom-line accounting … There is a crucial sense in which the Greens know where they come from.’ —Amanda Lohrey, Groundswell
‘Bob Brown in Amanda Lohrey's characterisation is certainly a man for all seasons. She emphasizes the skepticism as well as the spirituality and the kind of personal integrity that can hush a House of Parliament by force not of charisma but of conviction.’ —Peter Craven
‘She takes us systematically and in economic detail through the origins of the Green Movement as a new paradigm of what politics is or should be about – the ecological, the knowledgeable, respectful and restrained use of nature.’ —Canberra Times
‘Bringing her novelist’s eye to the history of environmental politics, Amanda Lohery paints a vivid picture of the Greens’ formative decades.’ —the Age
Amanda Lohrey has written two Quarterly Essays, Groundswell: The Rise of the Greens and Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in Australia. She is also the author of the novella Vertigo and of the short story collection, Reading Madame Bovary, which won the Fiction Prize and the Steele Rudd Short Story Award in the 2011 Queensland Literary Awards. Her novel, The Philosopher's Doll, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2012 she was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award.