Non Fiction Old

Richard Freadman reviews 'Portraits from Life: Modernist novelists and autobiography' by Jerome Boyd Maunsell

Richard Freadman
31 December 2018

H.G. Wells, in his Experiment in Autobiography (1934), describes Henry James as ‘a strange unnatural human being’ who ‘regarded his fellow creatures with a face of distress More

Stephen Mills reviews 'Handbook of Political Party Funding' edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Stephen Mills
31 December 2018

At its best, political science research is empirical, systematic, comparative, and provides cogent and durable explanations – not just descriptions – of political behaviour wherever it More

Trevor Burnard reviews 'Freedom in White and Black: A lost story of the illegal slave trade and its global legacy' by Emma Christopher

Trevor Burnard
31 December 2018

Because the settlement of Australia by the British proceeded in a certain way, we tend to forget how unusual it was in 1788 to start a colony without slavery. The year 1788 saw the first m More

Simon Caterson reviews 'Chromatopia: An illustrated history of colour' by David Coles

Simon Caterson
26 December 2018

The story of art could be framed as a narrative of tension between the boundless creative imagination of artists and the practical limitations – including instability, scarcity, even tox More

Ron Radford reviews 'Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening our eyes' by Joanna Mendelssohn et al.

Ron Radford
26 December 2018

This well-illustrated volume documents through its analysis of art exhibitions the massive rise of Australia’s art gallery attendances over a period of more than forty years. Before the More

Brian McFarlane reviews 'Performing Hamlet: Actors in the modern age' by Jonathan Croall

Brian McFarlane
26 December 2018

'It is arguably the most famous play on the planet’, writes Jonathan Croall in his introduction to this absorbing study of how the play and its eponym have gripped the imagination across More

Tim Byrne reviews 'The World Only Spins Forward: The ascent of angels in America' edited by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois

Tim Byrne
26 December 2018
Most of the time, plays are just entertainments; they can be witty and insightful, even powerful and contemporary, and still function as merely satisfying divertissements. Rarely, so rarely e More

Alexandra Roginski reviews 'Empire of Enchantment: The story of Indian magic' by John Zubrzycki

Alexandra Roginski
20 December 2018

Almost before drawing breath, we meet two troupes of Indian magicians. One appears in the court of the Emperor Jahangir, early seventeenth-century Mughal ruler and aficionado of magic. In More

John Hawke reviews 'Feeding the Ghost 1: Criticism on contemporary Australian poetry' edited by Andy Kissane, David Musgrave, and Carolyn Rickett

John Hawke
20 December 2018

Perhaps the most encouraging sign in this Puncher & Wattmann collection of critical essays on contemporary Australian poets is the prominent ‘1’ on its front cover, promising that More

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Back from the Brink, 1997–2001: The Howard Government Volume II' edited by Tom Frame

Lyndon Megarrity
18 December 2018

Back from the Brink is the second volume of a projected four-volume series that investigates the performance of the four Howard governments (1996–2007). The first dealt with the Liberal– National Party co More

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