Quadrant was founded in 1956 and the first four issues  appeared in 1957. The organising genius in the venture was Richard Krygier, a Polish-Jewish refugee, and the founding editor was the leading poet James McAuley. Behind the magazine stood the Australian Committee for Cultural Freedom, the Australian arm of the international Congress for Cultural Freedom, dedicated to cultural freedom and the intellectual resistance to communism and its fellow travellers in the West.

Peter Coleman is one of the surviving members of that resistance movement. He wrote The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe. He also wrote an account of the selection process when James McAuley became the first editor of  Quadrant. McAuley was the sole editor for the first five years and the magazines that appeared during that time have become collectors items because he published the leading poets, essayists and critics of the day.

They stand as a monument to the spirit of freedom, of democratic capitalism and the best aspects of western culture and intellectual life. With a conference impending on June 24 to celebrate western civilisation, this is an appropriate moment to make these treasures accessible to a wider readership.

This venture has been cut short due to copyright considerations.

The interest generated in the short time that they were on line suggests that a timely release on the Quadrant website will be widely appreciated.

More on James McAuley and the current Quadrant monthly and website.

Rafe Champion, Sydney 2011

The guiding principles, from McAuley's first editorial comment.

To be Australian in our orientation, because we are interested in this country, its people, its problems, its cultural life, its liberties, and its safety;

To publish work of interest and merit on any topic without regard to the affiliations or repute of the author, the sole requirement being that the material should be worth reading;

To be guided, when an editorial attitude is called for with regard to questions of civil liberty or public standards, by the principles underlying the parliamentary institutions of this country and the Common Law - than which we know no better school of freedom and civility and prudence, in the old high sense of those words; for to be a good Australian is to be a local variety of that 'free and lawful man', the traditional ideal of Western civilization.


Volume 1


Number 1. Summer 1956-7

Front cover and Index

Editorial Comment

A poem by Rosemary Dobson and Alan Villiers - "James Cook, Seaman"

Bernard Hesling - "The Game"

A D Hope - The Discursive Mode: Reflections on the ecology of poetry

Judith Wright - "For my daughter"

George Molnar - "Good Manners in Street Architecture"

Evan Jones - "Epithalamium"

Ads for gas and Encounter

A poem by Evan Jones and Denis Warner - "The Communist Conspiracy in Asia"

A D Hope - "The King"

Francois Bondy - "Letter from Paris: Two French voices"

Alan Barcan - "Changes in Student Outlook" and a poem by Roland Robinson

John Kardoss - "The Australian Theatre: Retrospect and prospect" and notes on contributors

Around the Australian Periodicals

Reviews - The Tree of Man, The Scrolls from the Dead Sea, Hell and High Fever

Reviews (continued) - A Book of Australian Verse, An Anthology of NZ Verse, The Miracle of Million Hill, Decisive Battles of the Western World vol 3

Number 2. Autumn 1957

Index and Editorial comment

Douglas Stewart  "The Silkworms" and Richard Pakes - "The Australian Waterfront"

Salamon Dembitzer - "Adventure in New York"

Walter James - "Wineman's Holiday"

J. H. Wootten - "The Orr Dismissal and the Universities"

A. E, de Jasay - "Echoes of the Hungarian Revolution"

Noel Monkman - "Mirabilia"

John Greenway - "Anything Like Waltzing Matilda

C. Hartley Grattan - "Reflections on Australian History"

James McAuley "Secret Song"

Rudolph Brasch - "Jewish Mysticism"

Harold Stewart - "Ode on the Supernal Swan"

Erik on Kuehnelt-Leddihn - "Letter from Austria" and May Sumser-Ali - "Supplication"

L. Hirschfeld-Mack - The Bauhaus - Its Beginnings"

Around the Periodicals and reviews

More Reviews and Notes on Contributors

Number 3. Winter 1957


Editorial comment: Two ways of thought and University problems

A. D. Hope - "Meditation on a bone"  George Baker - Canberra Dateline: The Press & Politicians"

E. O. Schlunke - "Carnival".

R. W. Titterton - "Education for an Atomic Age" and Alexander Craig  - "Landscape"

Sudhin Datta - "Letter from Calcutta"

Muray Groves - "Sacred Past and Profane Present in Papua"

Clive Sansom - "Lady Chapel"

Francis Letters - "T for Tiger"

Bernard Hesling - "Youse and Non-Youse"

Kenneth Hince - "Hindemith, St Augustine and the Nature of Music"

L. H. Allen - "Blood-pool" and James McAuley - "Aubade"

D. G. M. Jackson - "The Re-Making of Man"

A. R. Chisholm - "The Brennan I Remember" and Keith Harrison - "For Harold Stewart"

Around the Periodicals

Reviews and Contributors

Number 4. Spring 1957


Editorial comment - Liberalism Today

Gyorgy Kaposi - "Hungary's Secret Concentration Camp"

Brian James - "The Song of the Narranguy"

A. P. Elkin - "Aboriginal Policy 1930-1950"

John Mayston Bechervaise - "Men and Motives in Antarctica"

Evan Jones - "Epithalamium"

John Douglas Pringle - "Literary Convicts"

J. E. Henry - "Communist Strategy in Australia 1920-1957

James McAuley - "The Magian Heresy"

Desmond O'Grady - "Letter from Italy"

Charles Higham - "The Cinema's Treatment of Religion"

Reviews and Contributors

Volume 2


Number 5. Summer 1957-8

Index for the year, and the first edition of the year

Editorial comments

Poems by A Chisholm, David Campbell and James McAuley

Dal Stivens - "The Gentle Basilisk"

M. H. Ellis - "Rum Rebellion Reviewed"

T. Andrzejaczek - "Suburbia - A Cultural Defeat"

Dennis Davidson - "Crisis"

D'Arcy Niland - "The Sound and the Silence"

Charles Higham - "Lines for a Myth" and G. N. Sprod - "Wrought-Iron Railery"

Herbert Piper - "The Background of Romantic Thought"

Lloyd Ross - "Problems of Trade Unionism"

H. A. Lindsay - "The Bastard from the Bush"

O.H. K. Spate - "Westwards the Course"

John Bedggood - "Italic Handwriting"

Roger Covell - "The Noise in the Background"


Number 6. Autumn 1958


Editorial comment

Poems by Charles Higham - "The Kelly Show", A. D. Hope - "The Twenty-Second Sonnet of Loise Labe" and Mary Gilmour - "A Memory"

R. N. Spann - "The Murray Report and the Universities"

F.Knopfelmacher - "The Threat to Academic Freedom"

E. O. Schlunke - "A Source of Material"

Keith Harrison - "The Peacock"

Robin Boyd - "The Culture of Austerica"

Bengt Danielson - "Letter from Polynesia"

Mabel Waln Smith - "China's Foremost Woman Writer"

Harry Thornton - "Body and Mind"

Niall Brennan - "The March of the Militants"

Walter James - "Sweet Wine"

Salamon Dembitzer - "Jewish Folk-Songs"


Number 7. Winter 1958


Three poems: Vincent Buckley, R. H. Morrison, James McAuley

A. G Dawes - "An Institution in the Metropolis"

H.A. Lindsay - "Melba's Husband" and Jessica Aldridge - "Watching the Sleeper"

Desmond O'Grady - "Niccolo the Glass Seller"

Russell Kirk - "Letter from America"

Peter Hastings - "Krishna Menon"

Nino Culotta - It's a Terrible Life"

D. C. Muecke - "Two Errors in Literary Theory"

Maximilian Feuerring - "Abstract Art"

M. F. Dixon - "Early Trials of the ABC News Service"

Charles Higham - "The Screen Writer's Task"


Number 8. Spring 1958



Douglas Stewrt - "At the Entrance"

Dal Stivens - "The Impressionable Young Squirrel"

Peter A Hunt - "Industrial Design Comes to Australia"

M. K. E. Read - "Letter from Seattle"

Salamoni Dembitzer - "The Father"

Brian O'Brien - "Caving in Australia"

Jeremy Beckett - "Aborigines Make Music"

Poems by W. Hart-Smith and Mary Finnin

James McAuley - "From a Poet's Notebook"

A. E. de Jasay - "Outplanning the Planning Board".  Gwen Harwood - "To my Children"

Tom Bass - "Should Civic Art Make Sense?"

Frank Keane - "A New Taste for Old Wine"

C. Semmler - "Portrait of the Artist as a Humorist". Nan McDonald - "The Hatters"

Peter Hastings - "My Town in Faulkner Country"


Volume 3


Number 9. Summer 1958-9


Hugh Atkinson - "Book Learners and Life Learners" and E. W. Titterton "The Problem of Nuclear Tests"

Irving Kristol - "Unilateral Defeatism?"

Peter Kelly - two poems, and Bearnard Hesling "The Multi-Millionaires"

Kenneth Hince - "The Case of the Dismissed Professor"

George Molnar - "How to be a Tourist" and George Baker - "The Ballad of High Holborn"

Georges Faludy - "Poetry in a Hungarian Prison" and a poem "Western Australia"

Rae Campbell - "Tempo at a Tokyo University"

A. G. Mitchell - "The Australian Accent" and "Sinn Fein" by Vincent Buckley

Brian James - "Untimely Aid"

E. O. Schlunke - "The Horse: Man's Best Friend"

E. C. Docker - "Caste and Politics" and Anthonly K. Russell - "Looking After the Details"


Number 10. Autumn 1959



Boris Pasternak - "To Marina Tsvetaeva" and Peter Hastings - "Zhivago and the Other Russia"

Manning Clark - "Monologue by a Man in Black"

Hugh Atkinson - "Burning Bright" and a poem by Mary Gilmore "Night"

Vincent Buckley - "Utopianism and Vitalism in Australian Literature"

Charles Higham - "Actaeon's Death"

J. K. McCarthy - "The Rabaul Strike"

D'Arcy Niland - "King of the Jumbuck-Barbers" and Alexander Craig - "Autumnal Ode"

R. H. Morrison - "Cut Roses" and H. A. Lindsay - "The World's First Policewoman"

Gwen Kelly - "The Assault on the Mind"

K. E. Read - "The Bay" and James McAuiley - "Nocturnal"

Vinny D'Cruz - "Walking Zero"