Clive Hamilton has spent a life asking why. In his unique memoir, Provocateur, he shows us why questioning the status quo matters, how powerful arguments can change the country, and how the life of ideas in action actually works.
From why climate change matters to how we understand ourselves as Australians and the dangers to us of the new authoritarianism – all this and more has been shaped, for better or worse, by public researchers and writers like Hamilton. His work, and that of the Australia Institute he founded, made him many friends as well as powerful enemies. He’s been denounced in federal parliament, black-handed by the Chinese Communist Party and sued by an angry corporation. He’s had to call in the police after death threats and take a crash course in counter-surveillance techniques. But he has also influenced the quality of the air Australians breathe, the cost of our education and how we see Australia’s place in the world.
In Provocateur, we see the passions, the doubts, the strategising, the fears, the victories, the mistakes and the questioning. Here is a blueprint for changing public debate in our increasingly uncertain times – proof that ideas are powerful and that a different way into the future is possible.