Up from the Mission

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Up from the Mission charts the life and thought of Noel Pearson, from his early days as a native title lawyer to his position today as one of Australia’s most influential figures.

This is writing of great passion and power, which introduces a fascinating man and a compelling writer. Many of the pieces included have been hard to find until now. Gathered together in a cohesive, broad-ranging book, they show a key Australian thinker coming into being.

Pearson evokes his early life in Hope Vale, Queensland. He includes sections of his epoch-making essay ‘Our Right To Take Responsibility’, which exposed the trap of passive welfare and proposed new ways forward. There are pieces on the apology; on Barack Obama and black leadership; on Australian party politics – Keating, Howard and Rudd; and on alcoholism, despair and what can be done to mend Aboriginal communities that have fallen apart.

‘Noel Pearson is, I suspect, an historic figure … Up From the Mission is the most engaging book on Australian politics I have read since Mark Latham’s diaries.’ —Martin Flanagan, The Age

Up from the Mission is among the most relentless and exciting work I have read in recent years … Pearson’s analysis is blisteringly compelling’ —Waleed Aly, The Sunday Age

‘Pearson is a master of the essay as a literary form … [Up from the Mission] is a serious contribution to Australian letters’ –Peter Sutton, The Monthly

‘Noel Pearson is the most influential intellectual in Australia’ —John Hirst, Australian Literary Review

‘Noel Pearson is the best political and social essayist in the country’ —Michael Gawenda, Crikey

‘A powerhouse of a book’ —Jon Altman, Australian Book Review