Varun Ghosh

Varun Ghosh

Varun Ghosh is a lawyer from Perth. He received degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Western Australia and was a Commonwealth Scholar in Law at the University of Cambridge. He previously worked as a finance attorney in New York and as a consultant for the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Home in the World: A memoir' by Amartya Sen

October 2021, no. 436 23 September 2021
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Home in the World: A memoir' by Amartya Sen
By any measure, Amartya Sen’s academic career has been a glittering one. A professor of economics at Harvard University for more than three decades, Sen has also held appointments at Cambridge University, Oxford University, the Delhi School of Economics, and Jadavpur University. In 1998, he was awarded a Nobel Prize for his contribution to welfare economics, including work on social choice, welf ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the power of hope' by Jon Meacham

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
Varun Ghosh reviews 'His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the power of hope' by Jon Meacham
John R. Lewis, who died in July 2020, was an extraordinary man. Born poor, the son of tenant farmers in rural, segregated Alabama, Lewis was one of America’s most prominent civil rights leaders by the age of twenty-three. He spoke at the March on Washington in 1963, when Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. Lewis went on to serve seventeen terms as a US Con ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?' by Alexander Keyssar

September 2020, no. 424 21 August 2020
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?' by Alexander Keyssar
In 2016, Hillary Clinton received nearly three million more votes for president of the United States than Donald Trump. Despite this sizeable margin, Clinton was not elected. The reason was the electoral college, a method for picking presidents that emerged as an ‘eleventh-hour compromise’ at the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in 1787 and that has never been abolished. Perhaps cont ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'The Education of an Idealist: A memoir' by Samantha Power

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
Varun Ghosh reviews 'The Education of an Idealist: A memoir' by Samantha Power
For two and a half decades, Samantha Power has been an advocate for US intervention to prevent genocide around the world – as a war correspondent, as an author, and as a member of the Obama administration (2009–17). The Education of an Idealist is a deeply personal memoir of that experience. The book is divided into two parts, reflecting the distinct stages of Power’s career before and afte ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Tired of Winning: A chronicle of American decline' by Richard Cooke

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Tired of Winning: A chronicle of American decline' by Richard Cooke
Tired of Winning: A chronicle of American decline by journalist and essayist Richard Cooke begins with the shock of Donald Trump’s election on 8 November 2016. In New York’s Lincoln Square, thousands of Clinton supporters were ‘stunned into silence’ while ‘a posse of drunk frat boys in MAGA caps announced themselves loudly’. Yet, as the author soon realised: ‘This was not the moment ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House' by Ben Rhodes and 'Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump' by Dan Pfeiffer

January-February 2019, no. 408 28 November 2018
Varun Ghosh reviews 'The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House' by Ben Rhodes and 'Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump' by Dan Pfeiffer
Gareth Evans diagnosed the affliction of leaving government as relevance deprivation syndrome. For those who worked in the Obama administration, leaving the White House must have presented deeper maladies: the bewildering success of a reviled political opponent and a profound sense of missed opportunities. Two recently released memoirs by former Obama staffers grapple with this reality in very dif ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Fear: Trump in the White House' by Bob Woodward

November 2018, no. 406 25 October 2018
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Fear: Trump in the White House' by Bob Woodward
Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward opens with an astonishing incident. In September 2017, Gary Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, removed a letter from the president’s desk. The letter purported to terminate America’s free trade agreement with South Korea – a vital US ally in the Asia–Pacific. Cohn decided he could not afford to take the risk: ‘I stole it off his ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Making a Meal of It: Writing about film' by Brian McFarlane

June-July 2018, no. 402 25 May 2018
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Making a Meal of It: Writing about film' by Brian McFarlane
One of my favourite podcasts at the moment is called The Rewatchables. It deconstructs movies (mainly from the 1990s and 2000s) and offers an enjoyable mix of amusement, nostalgia, and insight. It also speaks to the desire, particularly strong in the internet age, to hear what other people think about content already enjoyed. Brian McFarlane’s Making a Meal of It: Writing about film offers a som ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Collusion: How Russia helped Trump win the White House' by Luke Harding

March 2018, no. 399 21 February 2018
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Collusion: How Russia helped Trump win the White House' by Luke Harding
It is now widely believed that Russia and its agents interfered with the 2016 US presidential election to help Donald Trump get elected. In Collusion: How Russia helped Trump win the White House, journalist and author Luke Harding investigates the likelihood that Trump and his associates colluded with Russia to achieve that goal. It is not an easy task. At first blush, the idea itself seems fanta ... (read more)

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Audacity: How Barack Obama defied his critics and created a legacy that will prevail' by Jonathan Chait and 'We Are The Change We Seek: The speeches of Barack Obama' edited by E.J. Dionne Jr and Joy-Ann Reid

June-July 2017, no. 392 25 May 2017
Varun Ghosh reviews 'Audacity: How Barack Obama defied his critics and created a legacy that will prevail' by Jonathan Chait and 'We Are The Change We Seek: The speeches of Barack Obama' edited by E.J. Dionne Jr and Joy-Ann Reid
What is Barack Obama’s legacy? That deceptively simple question forms the subject of Jonathan Chait’s new book, Audacity. Across seven disparate chapters, the book ‘makes the case that Obama succeeded’ – that he ‘accomplished nearly everything he set out to do, and he set out to do an enormous amount’. ... (read more)
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