Dennis Altman

Boy Erased ★★★★

Dennis Altman
07 November 2018

We all love redemption movies. The twist in Boy Erased is that redemption comes by escaping religion rather than discovering it. Garrard Conley is a nineteen-year-old college stud More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Has The Gay Movement Failed?' by Martin Duberman

Dennis Altman
24 August 2018

The basic thesis of this book is that the gay movement has settled for accommodation rather than radical change, ignoring the ways in which larger social and economic inequalities impact o More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Logical Family: A memoir' by Armistead Maupin

Dennis Altman
22 February 2018

When the first volume in the Tales of the City series was published in 1978, Armistead Maupin tells us disarmingly in his new memoir, it flopped. Yet the series, which had begun a More

Dennis Altman reviews 'And Then I Found Me' by Noel Tovey

Dennis Altman
30 April 2017

Looking back on his career, Noel Tovey writes: ‘I could work in three languages. I had dined in the finest restaurants in Europe and America with pop stars and royalty and I had a career in the theatre that most Australians would envy.’ The man who wrote these words grew up an abused and neglected child. When he was seventeen, he served time in Melbourne’s Pen ... More

Letters to the Editor - May 2017

Australian Book Review
28 April 2017

Scurvy

Dear Editor,
All authors are perhaps oversensitive to reviews of their books, but I have never been tempted to quarrel with a reviewer until now. Alan Atkinson’s review of Scurvy: The disease of discovery (April 2017) contains a ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Disposable Leaders: Media and leadership coups from Menzies to Abbott' by Rodney Tiffen

Dennis Altman
24 March 2017

When Australia’s living prime ministers attended the funeral of Gough Whitlam in 2014, there were considerable difficulties in taking the official photograph. Rather than grouping them in order of seniority, the photographer carefully separated Malcolm Fraser from John Howard; Bob Hawke from Paul Keating; Kevin Rudd from Julia Gillard. Animosities within ruling pa ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'The House that Jack Built: Jack Mundey, Green Bans hero' by James Colman

Dennis Altman
23 September 2016

The term 'green ban', first used in 1973, is so much part of our political vocabulary that we forget it has a specific and Australian genesis, which had considerable influence on the Greens ...

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Dennis Altman reviews 'Big Blue Sky' by Peter Garrett

Dennis Altman
18 December 2015

Dressed in a suit, standing beside a prime minister, Peter Garrett never looked totally convincing as a cabinet minister. We recalled his onstage persona in Midnight Oil, stooped and balding, a towering figure struggling to contain his energy and passion.

Garrett was minister for the environment, heritage, and the arts in the first Rudd ministry; after the 2 ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'The End of Representative Politics' by Simon Tormey

Dennis Altman
26 August 2015

The questions Simon Tormey poses in The End of Representative Politics are crucial, and we need more political scientists willing to grapple with them. His is a well-informed, well written discussion of the apparent crisis of ‘traditional’ politics, and it deserves readers beyond the academy.

Tormey’s basic argument is that the forms of repres ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Northern Lights' by Andrew Scott

Dennis Altman
02 March 2015

As Andrew Scott points out, Australians have a limited and very clichéd knowledge of the Nordic countries. Recently, we have come to appreciate Scandinavia for its bleak police dramas, of which The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is probably the best known. For the right, Scandinavia has long represented socialist excess, which merges with vague notions of unlim ... More

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