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The Fatal Lure of Politics: The life and thought of Vere Gordon Childe by Terry Irving

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A young Australian radical, who finds academic success later in life, struggles with an inexorable question: what is the relationship between these two worlds: the activist and the scholar? This question animated the life of Vere Gordon Childe, the Australian Marxist and intellectual whose The Dawn of Euro pean Civilization (1925) helped establish modern archaeology, as it has his most recent biographer, activist and labour historian Terry Irving, whose Class Structure in Australian History (1981, with Raewyn Connell) remains a key text.



Open Page with Margaret Simons

Childhood sporting humiliations have left me with a dread of being in places where somebody might throw a ball towards me and expect me to do something with it.


January-February 2019, no. 408

Open Page with Geoffrey Lehmann

At night I sit on the brick patio of a beach house at Currarong with a garden of flannel flowers and kangaroo paws. I listen to the ocean through a windbreak of low eucalypts and banksias, just a hundred paces away.


May 2019, no. 411

Open Page with Judith Brett

Camping at Thurra River in the Croajingalong National Park, swimming in its tannin estuary, cooking fresh fish, gossiping while walking its long white beaches, watching the sea eagles soar.

From the Archive

October 1984, no. 65

Harland’s Half Acre by David Malouf

Apart from the theme of growth and adolescence (with which it often merges), perhaps the most common preoccupation of Australian novelists is the progress of a young man (usually) or woman towards artistic achievement and fulfilment. Frequently the field of art is pictorial. Patrick White’s The Vivisector, Thea Astley’s The Acolyte, Tony Morphett’s Thorskeld, and Barbara Hanrahan’s The Scent of Eucalyptus and Kewpie Doll, to name only those, all deal in some form or other with a painter of either actual or potential genius. It is, of course, one of the classic themes of twentieth-century fiction everywhere, but its pervasiveness among our writers suggests a self­conscious need to articulate the Australian experience and identity. Who better than the great artist to do it?

From the Archive

From the Archive

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