Up from the Mission charts the life and thought of Noel Pearson, from his early days as a native title lawyer to his position today as one of Australia's most influential figures. This is writing of great passion and power, which introduces a fascinating man and a compelling writer. Many of the pieces included have been hard to find until now. Gathered together in a cohesive, broad-ranging book, they show a key Australian thinker coming into being. Pearson evokes his early life in Hope Vale, Queensland. He includes sections of his epoch-making essay, Our Right to Take Responsibility, which exposed the trap of passive welfare and proposed new ways forward. There are pieces on the apology; on Barack Obama and black leadership; on Australian party politics - Keating, Howard and Rudd; and on alcoholism, despair and what can be done to mend Aboriginal communities that have fallen apart.