Show and tell
edited by Jeff Sparrow
Overland, $14.95 pb, 120 pp, 00307416
From Menzies to Gillard, from the Cold War to Pacific solutions, the history of Overland magazine offers a leftist version of post-World War II Australian political, cultural and literary life. This issue of Overland is its two hundredth. As Jeff Sparrow, the current Editor, points out, survival is an achievement: ‘The “little magazine” is a peculiar animal. The life cycle of the species generally follows a predictable pattern: birth (usually marked by the ritual issuing of manifestos) and rapid growth, followed by financial crisis, paralysis and death, a cycle that typically unfolds within the span of six months or so.’ Sparrow, one of Australia’s more penetrating commentators, might have granted himself more space to discuss the future of Overland, and, more broadly, to reflect on challenges facing activists who challenge the assumption that capitalism can save – is saving – the world.