Frank Bongiorno

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'The Pivot of Power: Australian prime ministers and political leadership 1949–2016' by Paul Strangio, Paul ‘t Hart, and James Walter

Frank Bongiorno
19 December 2017

Has the Australian prime minister’s job become impossible? The authors of The Pivot of Power: Australian prime ministers and political leadership 1949–2016 ask this question a More

2017 Books of the Year

Australian Book Review
24 November 2017

To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wy More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'The Dismissal Dossier: Everything you were never meant to know about November 1975' by Jenny Hocking

Frank Bongiorno
23 November 2017

Paul Keating claims that he wanted to arrest John Kerr. There were perhaps two points at which Kerr might justly have been taken into custody. There was the critical moment just after he h More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the world since 1942' by Allan Gyngell

Frank Bongiorno
27 April 2017

n 2004 the Indonesian foreign minister, Nur Hassan Wirajuda, learned that Australia had established a 1000-mile maritime exclusion zone as part of its asylum-seeker policy ...

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Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Battleground' by Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen

Frank Bongiorno
23 February 2016

The Abbott era already seems a far-off time of jihad on the ABC and the Human Rights Commission, death cults, three-word slogans, celebratory cigars, royal knighthoods, raw onions, and helicopter jaunts. To be reminded of it is to relive the 'tawdry nightmare – a male buddy film of singular fatuousness', to borrow Pankaj Mishra's dismissal of the West's post-Cold ... More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Trendyville' by Renate Howe, David Nichols, and Graeme Davison

Frank Bongiorno
29 May 2015

In the Melbourne suburb where I spent my childhood, a café was a place where ethnic men played cards and backgammon, puffed on cigarettes, and looked up from time to time to watch through the window the passing parade on the footpath outside. Now, when I return to Northcote, I am often served in hip cafés by boyish men with Ned Kelly beards and stylishly informal ... More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'The Bush'

Frank Bongiorno
24 September 2014

Late in 1986, the Australian Bicentennial Authority took sixty celebrities off to Uluru to make the television advertisement containing the jingle ‘Celebration of a Nation’. Just as the shoot finished, a heavy storm broke, prompting the stars to run for cover. ‘Oh, darling,’ cried Jeanne Little, a popular television personality at the time. ‘The real Austr ... More

Dreaming Too Loud

Frank Bongiorno
16 January 2014

London-based silk Geoffrey Robertson QC is one of Australia’s most celebrated and eloquent commentators. In his new book, he addresses subjects such as injustice to Aborigines, Ned Kelly, and his Australian heroes.< More

Frank Bongiorno reviews 'Dancing with Empty Pockets'

Frank Bongiorno
31 October 2013

Tony Moore’s engaging account of Australian bohemians begins with Marcus Clarke and takes us through to Julian Assange. Along the way we encounter Australian bohemia in its diverse expressions, from the art of the Heidelberg School, writing of the Bulletin, high jinks of 1920s Sydney bohemia to the Sydney Push, Melbourne Drift, 1960s counterculture (i ... More