The paperback edition of David Marr's perceptive and witty essays on the continuing, and frequently malign, influence of the church on modern Australian society and politics.
'...a challenging, vehement book that will fascinate believer and non-believer alike.' - Peter Craven, The Age
'In essence, a tract against wowserism...Looking under the rock of Christian salvation, [Marr] finds a wriggling agenda.' - Simon Hughes, Australian Financial Review Magazine
Priests and preachers have returned to haunt Australian politics. The mission is to get us all to heaven by banning drugs, chopping movies and turning the criminal law against sex. The High Price of Heaven is about the politics of salvation - and the cruelty, comedy, and pain inflicted by the enemies of freedom and pleasure.
This is also a book of stories - of murder and chicanery, suicide and savvy bishops, of the Methodist childhood of John Howard and the ruthless Christian warriors who fight the drugs war, of bizarre censorship and bigotry on the High Court, brawls behind the closed doors of elite church schools, the endless Crusade against sodomy and the devout life of Brian Harradine.
David Marr's aim is to make sense of what's happening as this country drifts back in time, by disentangling the theology from the politics. Provocative and quirky, The High Price of Heaven is an illuminating book from one of Australia's finest writers.
David Marr is best known for his biographies of Australia's greatest writer, Patrick White, and Sir Garfield Barwick, the judge who plotted the coup d'etat of 1975. Marr has also edited Patrick White's letters and written The Ivanov Trail, an account of the last spy scare in Canberra.
He has won many awards for his books and television journalism. He has edited the National Times, been a reporter on 'Four Corners' and the presenter of ABC Radio National's 'Arts Today'. He was a foundation member of Watch on Censorship and now writes for the Sydney Morning Herald.
As a biographer and reporter on politics, race, justice and the arts, he's been convinced for many years that religion - even if only the remains of a lost faith - is a key to understanding lives and politics. The High Price of Heaven gives faith its due in this uncertain society at the end of the second millennium.