Russ started High Horse Books in 2007 after 10 years as a bookseller and literary events organiser and 5 years as commissioning editor at Scribe Publications.
He has worked on a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres, but specialises in history, politics, travel narrative, philosophy and popular science. Russ was responsible for Scribe Short Books — a series of short polemical books by notable writers and public figures on a range of significant social and political questions. As commissioning and acquisitions editor at Scribe (2003–2007) he worked with, among others, such notable authors as the Prime Minister’s 2009 History Prize winner Robert Kenny, Julian Burnside, Carmen Lawrence, Richard Woolcott and Dennis Altman.
Russ has experience in most aspects of the life cycle of the book: from the commissioning of a book based on a seminal idea to the development of the manuscript, from design and production to the marketing and sale of the finished book in the store.
Russ produces the annual bestselling series of political years-in-review Best Australian Political Cartoons (published by Scribe), and is the author of Man of Steel: a cartoon history of the Howard Years and Dirt Files: a Decade of Best Australian Political Cartoons. He has edited collections of the work of some of Australia’s finest political cartoonists, such as Bill Leak, Alan Moir, Bruce Petty, Matt Golding and Judy Horacek.
Russ was research consultant to National Museum of Australia’s annual Behind the Lines exhibition from 2007–2009. In 2013 Russ curated two exhibitions of political cartoons: at the ANU in Canberra and The Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat.
In 2013, at the Australian Cartoonists Association annual Stanley Awards, Russ Radcliffe received the prestigious Jim Russell Award for his publishing contribution to Australian cartooning — somewhat embarrassing given that he can't draw to save his life.
- regular appearances on radio and television
- experienced presenter and interviewer
- editorial mentor & publishing consultant at Melbourne University's Writing Centre for Scholars — advising academics on how to transform their work into books for general readers.
- literary festival programming — Melbourne Writers’ Festival programming committee (1999–2004)
- board member, Australian Book Review (2001–2004)
- judge, The Age Book of the Year 2002