"This much is certain: Australia’s national affairs debate suffers from a lack of perspective. Perspective is precisely what Hartcher sets out to deliver in The Sweet Spot."
~ Joel Deane from Australian Book Review
"Cracking...Peter Hartcher's new book is a 21st-century reply to Donald Horne's classic The Lucky Country"
~ Bookseller + Publisher.
Peter Hartcher is a leading Australian journalist and author. He is the political editor and international editor for The Sydney Morning Herald. He has been writing about power and politics, war and peace, booms and busts for thirty years. His latest book is The Sweet Spot.
"The newspaper's political commentator, Peter Hartcher, is regarded as the country's best in print" - Bernard Lagan, The Global Mail, 21 June, 2012.
"There are scant few public intellectuals who can do what Peter Hartcher does with apparent ease and elegance - write big books while breaking news scoops, cover international and domestic affairs with equal skill and alacrity, and bridge the divides among business, economics, politics and security." - Professor Geoff Garrett, chief executive, the US Studies Centre, Sydney University.
Hartcher has worked as a foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington. He has won Australia's highest journalistic accolade, the Gold Walkley award, and the Citibank award for business reporting. As the political editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, he is the paper's principal commentator on national politics. While his job is mainly as an analyst, he also has broken some of the biggest stories in Australian public life. It was Hartcher's front-page article on June 23, 2010, that triggered Julia Gillard's successful challenge to Kevin Rudd the next day, bringing the Rudd prime ministership to an end.
"Hartcher demonstrates the magic formula in Australian journalism that is now so rare: Q = T + R + C. In other words, quality equals time plus research plus contacts." - Eric Beecher, publisher, Crikey.
In his capacity as the Herald's international editor, Hartcher is also the newspaper's chief commentator on global events. His 2005 book on the US economy, Bubble Man: Alan Greenspand and the Missing Seven Trillion Dollars, foresaw the collapse of the American real estate market and the recession that followed.
"Hartcher is one of the prophets of our time." - Dr Michael Wesley, executive director, the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
Hartcher has broken big stories in foreign policy. His front-page article on November 11, 201, disclosed that Barack Obama and Julia Gillard had decided to create a permanent rotating deployment of 2,500 US Marines near Darwin. It was to be the first long-term expansion of the US military presence in the Pacific since the end of the Vietnam War. He has apeared before parliamentary inquiries to give expert testimony on Australia's relations with Asia and is a long-standing member of the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.
Hartcher, born in Sydney, began his journalistic career in 1982 as a cadet reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald, where he worked for a decade. Assignments included business reporter, Tokyo correspondent, and stints in the Canberra press gallery, finally as chief political correspondent and bureau chief for the SMH. He moved to the Australian Financial Review. In a decade at the national business daily, positions included Asia-Pacific editor and Washington correspondent. He returned to the Herald in 2004 to take his current post.
He is acknowledged as an independent, non-partisan commentator. He has never joined, worked for or contributed to any politician or political party. A survey of Australia's political pundits by Crikey said that there was no more balanced commentator.
"Hartcher gets to the point. I'm always interested to see what he has to say. I mightn't always agree with him, but he challenges me." - Ita Buttrose, founding editor, Cleo.