Clothbound, 328pp + full-colour illustrations throughout
Size: 180mm x 200mm
ISBN (13): 9781922070401
RRP: $39.95
Published July 2013
Scribe Publications

Dirt Files: A Decade of Best Australian Political Cartoons

Edited by Russ Radcliffe

‘Political cartoons provide a kind of relief that makes the democratic process bearable. But, at their most effective, they are capable of great and penetrating insight. The liberating burst of laughter they provoke strips away the decrepit language of political spin and confronts us with a little moment of truth. As such, they are a kind of ephemeral icon, curling and yellowing on fridges and noticeboards where, I like to think, they give expression to our better impulses, our better selves.’

Based on the bestselling annual Best Australian Political Cartoons series, Dirt Files features over 400 of the finest political cartoons to have appeared in Australia from 2003 to 2012, and provides a vivid collective account of a particularly fractious decade.

Dirt Files doesn’t just focus on the Canberra soap opera. It also interprets the key political moments and themes that have played out over the past ten years — such as war, globalisation, climate change, the rise of China and changes in the economy, the history wars and the apology to Aborigines, and the treatment of asylum-seekers — and provides a reflection on Australian identity.

Containing many cartoons that have never been published in BAPC, and others that are produced in colour here for the first time, Dirt Files is a collection like no other. Brilliantly witty, and always insightful, it is essential reading for every Australian.

Dirt Files exhibition at the ANU

Russ Radcliffe, editor of Dirt Files: A Decade of Best Political Cartoons and curator of the exhibition, and Professor John Uhr from the School of Politics and International Relations at ANU, review 10 years in Australian politics through the cartoons which have captured the decade, and reflect on the figures and issues that have defined an era.

About the author

RUSS RADCLIFFE created the annual Best Australian Political Cartoons series in 2003. He has edited collections from some of Australia’s finest political cartoonists, including Alan Moir, Bruce Petty, Bill Leak, Matt Golding, and Judy Horacek.