The most cosmopolitan and sophisticated small magazine in Australian history — Greg Sheridan, The Australian, January 2008
Quadrant magazine is Australia’s leading journal of ideas, essays, literature, poetry, and historical and political debate. It is published monthly, ten times a year, with double editions in January-February and July-August.
Since 1956 Quadrant has maintained a tradition of publishing original writing on every aspect of society, as well as some of Australia’s best fiction and poetry. Although it retains its founding bias towards cultural freedom, anti-totalitarianism and classical liberalism, its pages are open to any well-written and thoughtful contribution.
While fashionable thought in much of the Australian media, universities and the arts remains influenced by left-wing moral authoritarianism, Quadrant has persistently questioned this orthodoxy. For the past decade, it has been at the forefront of the so-called Culture Wars. It has:
- exposed the shoddiness and political bias of much academic historical and anthropological writing
- deplored the politicisation of the arts
- analysed the decay of our public universities from political correctness and managerialism
- debated the place of religion in our society, especially the importance of the Judeo-Christian heritage to Western civilisation
- turned a sceptical eye on a range of intellectual fads and fashions including postmodernism, cultural relativism, multiculturalism and radical environmentalism.
Quadrant is uncompromisingly in favour of freedom of thought and expression. While insisting on civilised discourse, it opposes any political, academic or religious tendency that wants to suppress freedom of speech. It does not support diversity for diversity’s sake nor does it mindlessly endorse tolerance of all viewpoints, especially those that do not return the compliment. Rather, it understands tolerance to mean the willingness to listen to unpopular or unorthodox views that are well argued, while in practice taking tolerance to mean the willingness to live and let live, which is so typical of Australian life.
Quadrant was founded in 1956 as an initiative of the Australian Committee for Cultural Freedom, itself associated with the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and so was part of the defensive against Communist inspired, subsidised and/or influenced intellectual publications of the post-World War II era. It remains the last survivor of the group of publications which included Encounter (UK), Preuves (France), Monat (Germany). Critics have alleged that in the 1950s Quadrant enjoyed some kind of funding through the Congress for Cultural Freedom from the US Central Intelligence Agency; if so none of its editors ever knew of or were influenced in any way by such funding. It is, however, hardly shameful to have indirectly received funds from the agency of a liberal democratic government rather than the Russian and Chinese Communist dictatorships that directly funded several Australian leftist publications in that period.
Quadrant’s first editor was James McAuley, one of Australia’s greatest poets. Its longest-standing editor was Peter Coleman (1967-1978, 1981-1990), followed by Paddy McGuinness (1998-2008).
Current personnel are:
Quadrant Magazine and Quadrant Online are published by Quadrant Magazine Ltd. Chairman of the board of directors is Elizabeth Prior Jonson.
All views expressed in Quadrant and Quadrant Online are those of the individual authors and do not reflect the thoughts, opinions or beliefs of the editors or of Quadrant Magazine Ltd.
Quadrant Online Sponsors
We are very grateful to the following people who have generously sponsored this website and without whom it would not have been possible:
David and Jenny Armstrong
R. M. Badgery
David M. Bennett
J. L. Charley
W. D. G. Clarke
Sir Zelman Cowen
Eric J. Easton
Lindsay Ellison SC
Colin F. Friezer
Sue M. Gilet
H. C. Griffin
David and Judy Gunter
Peter Henderson AC
R. W. Henderson
R. M. Hillman
D. S. Houghton
W. M. R. Kelly
Dame Leonie Kramer
G. E. Lines
D M Madden
Douglas Meagher QC
J. D. Moore
Allan J. Myers
Sir Arvi Parbo
Peter J. Ratcliffe
Charles F. Tate
Sir Bruce Williams
and 40 anonymous donors.