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Dreaming Too Loud: Reflections on a Race Apart

by Geoffrey Robertson

Christopher Hitchens described Geoffrey Robertson as ‘the greatest living Australian’ and the satirical magazine Private Eye calls him ‘an Australian who has had a vowel transplant’. Just before he was to cross-examine Princess Diana, the London Times complained that he was ‘anti-establishment, republican and Australian’ – in ascending order of horror.Internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading human rights lawyers and as an intellectual inspiration for the global justice movement, he regularly boomerangs back from leading Europe’s largest civil liberties practice to the land of his birth and his youth. Just as his Hypotheticals dazzled television audiences, so the speeches and essays collected in this book provoke, disturb and entertain.Here you will find new heroes in our history, such as the schoolteacher who stopped Ned Kelly’s planned terrorist atrocity at Glenrowan, and the squadron leader who led ‘the few’ – the airmen who held the Japanese at bay after the fall of Singapore. There are insights into Australian education, the story of wrongly jailed Aboriginal mother Nancy Young, encounters with Vaclav Havel, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Kirby, John Mortimer and Julian Assange, the transcript of a previously banned Hypothetical, reflections on worldwide problems such as torture, terrorism and the Catholic church, and much else besides. With his trademark intelligence, humour and humanity, Robertson’s expatriate (but not ex-patriot) vision picks the real winners and losers in the Australian race.


“Here is a broad and liberal mind at work on some of the big questions of our time: a powerhouse display of insight and good humour” – Mike Carlton

“A superb illuminating and powerful book written by a great Australian with a true passion for Australia and its history. Challenging, humorous and informative. And most important of all, a riveting read” – David Hill

“As ever from Robertson, wonderful insights, and great writing” – Peter FitzSimons

“Geoffrey Robertson is one of the most opinionated Australians living. I would thank God for that fact, except that this book reveals that he recently addressed the Global Atheists’ Convention. Here are wonderful essays on the Queen, Doctor Haneef, Lady Chatterley, Doc Evatt, successive popes, Christopher Hitchens, Julian Assange and a great parade of larger than life Antipodean characters. No icon connected with Down Under is safe from his withering gaze. Which is why he is so loved – and listened to – in Australia. A great read. Bound to upset. A tonic to be taken once a day to ward off latent conservative tendencies” – The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG



01 November, 2013

About Geoffrey Robertson

Geoffrey Robertson QC is a leading human rights lawyer and a UN war-crimes judge. He has been counsel in many notable Old Bailey trials, has defended hundreds of men facing death sentences in the Caribbean, and has won landmark rulings on civil liberty from the highest courts in Britain, Europe and the Commonwealth. He was involved in cases against General Pinochet and Hastings Banda, and in the training of judges who tried Saddam Hussein. His book Crimes against Humanity has been an inspiration for the global justice movement, and he is the author of an acclaimed memoir, The Justice Game, and the textbook Media Law. He is married to Kathy Lette. Mr Robertson is Head of Doughty Street Chambers, a Master of the Middle Temple, a Recorder and visiting professor at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Other books by Geoffrey Robertson


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