Pity I did not know that Peter was coming on Q&A or I would have posted this in advance. He is one of the people in the Guest Room of the Rathouse, started over a decade ago for interesting and important people who did not have a web site of their own.
Peter Coleman has had a lengthy career as a writer and supporter of liberal causes. He has kept his hands clean during a period when only a minority of intellectuals could make the same claim. Being a modest gentleman, he has not made that claim himself but I am happy to make it on his behalf . It is a pleasure to welcome his writings into the Guest Room.
In The Liberal Conspiracy he provided an invaluable account of the counter-attack by liberal intellectuals in the battle of ideas with communism in the 1950s At the time that this story begins, Arthur Koestler was convinced that the future of civilisation would be decided by the outcome of the battle between communists and ex-communists like himself. He believed that others could not comprehend the true nature of their adversary, with its capacity to recruit both the best of people and the worst of people. He was mistaken. The thin anti-red line was held by a mix of ex-communists and others who had not drunk from that poisoned cup.
Lefties have never forgiven Peter Coleman and the Quadrant crowd for being on the honourable side in the Cold War.
Among other pieces by and about Peter in the Guest Room there is an account of Robert Manne’s strange career which included an almost disastrous term as editor of Quadrant.