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Luke Stegemann

Luke Stegemann

Luke Stegemann is a writer and cultural historian based in south-east Queensland. He is the author of The Beautiful Obscure (2017) and Amnesia Road (NewSouth, 2021), which won the 2021 Queensland Literary Award for Non-Fiction. In 2018 he received the Premio Malaspina in recognition of his ‘outstanding contribution to the development of cultural relations between Australia and Spain’. 

Luke Stegemann reviews 'The Shortest History of the Soviet Union' by Sheila Fitzpatrick and 'Collapse: The fall of the Soviet Union' by Vladislav M. Zubok

September 2022, no. 446 25 August 2022
In these relentless times, thirty years ago might be prehistory; events now appear to move so breathlessly that the ‘world-changing’ and ‘historic’ occur with terrible regularity. The flip side of this relentlessness and hyperbole is that wars, floods, financial disasters, coups, and political murders are just as quickly forgotten. As we enter a global recession brought on by the twin pinc ... (read more)

Luke Stegemann reviews 'The International Brigades: Fascism, freedom and the Spanish Civil War' by Giles Tremlett

January–February 2021, no. 428 16 December 2020
The participation of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, from 1936 to 1939, was a great but overwhelmingly tragic adventure. According to Geoffrey Cox, an enthusiastic young journalist from New Zealand in Madrid at the time, it was ‘the most truly international army the world has seen since the Crusades’. Romance, bravery, and sacrifice were combined with bastardry, suffering, ... (read more)

Luke Stegemann reviews 'Twilight of Democracy: The failure of politics and the parting of friends' by Anne Applebaum

October 2020, no. 425 18 September 2020
‘Our age,’ begins the epigraph to Anne Applebaum’s book Twilight of Democracy, ‘is indeed the age of the intellectual organization of political hatreds.’ This disarming quote from French writer Julien Benda dates back to 1927; how little has changed in a century. Just one generation after the triumphant ‘end of history’ – and notwithstanding the impact of Covid-19, fleetingly refer ... (read more)

Luke Stegemann reviews 'The Stranger Artist: Life at the edge of Kimberley painting' by Quentin Sprague

June–July 2020, no. 422 27 May 2020
The Stranger Artist is a finely structured and beautifully written account of gallerist Tony Oliver’s immersion into the world of the Kimberley art movement at the end of the twentieth century; the close relationships he developed over the following years with painters such as Paddy Bedford, Freddie Timms, and Rusty Peters; and the creation of Jirrawun Arts as a collective to both promote and pr ... (read more)