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Andrew Broertjes

Andrew Broertjes

Andrew Broertjes received his PhD in history from the University of Western Australia in 2007. He has been teaching there since 2007, and was recently the recipient of a Faculty of Arts prize for teaching excellence. He is currently working on a book about controversial US presidential elections from 1800 through to 2000. His essay 'Death and Sandwiches' was commended in the 2019 Calibre Essay Prize. 

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Found, Wanting: A memoir' by Natasha Sholl

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
We all seem to be thinking about grief lately. As Covid keeps many of us away from loved ones and people who are dying or have just expired, how we process death has received a renewed focus. The number of memoirs and guides and stories about grief and loss that have been published in the past two years – over two hundred – is staggering. It is a challenge to write about grief. Every society o ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Reaganland: America’s right turn 1976–1980' by Rick Perlstein

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
On 4 November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States. The former radio announcer, Hollywood actor, and governor of California (1967–75) beat Jimmy Carter by four hundred and forty electoral college votes. No contender had beaten an incumbent by that much since 1932, when in the midst of the Great Depression Franklin D. Roosevelt triumphed over Herbert Hoover. And much lik ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Going Dark: The secret social lives of extremists' by Julia Ebner and 'Antisocial: How online extremists broke America' by Andrew Marantz

April 2020, no. 420 16 March 2020
On 15 March 2019, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place at the Al-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch. Fifty-one people were killed and forty-nine injured as they gathered for Friday prayers. Sickeningly, the gunman, Brenton Tarrant, live-streamed the event on Facebook. A manifesto written by Tarrant quickly surfaced, full of coded language and refere ... (read more)

'Death and Sandwiches' by Andrew Broertjes

December 2019, no. 417 09 October 2019
  Two hundred and fifty-four years before the first hour, John Montagu, the fourth earl of Sandwich, was gambling. Unwilling to break up the game in order to eat properly, Montagu ordered his servants to bring him a meal comprising meat between two slices of bread. This unorthodox culinary innovation inspired his friends in subsequent gambling sessions to order similar. Thus, the sandwich w ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'How To Hide An Empire: A short history of the greater United States' by Daniel Immerwahr

January–February 2020, no. 418 03 September 2019
On 7 December 1941, Japan bombed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that it was a date that would ‘live in infamy’. Those who heard his radio broadcast knew that the United States would be drawn into the war that had engulfed Europe and the Middle East. But for some, the content of FDR’s address was baffling. People in the US- ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Political Troglodytes and Economic Lunatics' by Dominic Kelly and 'Rise of the Right' by Greg Barns

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
In the last four decades, a shift has occurred away from the post-World War II consensus around the role of the state. Conservative parties dominated by neo-liberal agendas have surged, assisted by the abandonment of progressive politics by centre-left parties such as Labour in the United Kingdom, the Democrats in the United States, and our own Australian Labor Party. Since the global financial me ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Franklin D. Roosevelt: A political life' by Robert Dallek

May 2018, no. 401 26 April 2018
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is consistently ranked alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents of the United States. His greatness rests on two pillars. Elected in the midst of the Great Depression, he permanently changed how Americans viewed government: as a force that would intervene aggressively in the economy to relieve the burdens of millions. From 1940 onw ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Richard Nixon: The life' by John A. Farrell

January–February 2018, no. 398 07 December 2017
Richard Nixon remains one of America’s most intriguing presidents (1969–74). Intelligent, shrewd, and possessing a keen sense of the public mood, Nixon represented the ideal presidential model. His grasp of foreign policy has been unmatched by his successors, and his domestic policies represented the last hurrah of ‘New Deal’ governance. Yet there was also a personal darkness culminating w ... (read more)

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton' by William E. Leuchtenburg

September 2017, no. 394 29 August 2017
The president of the United States looms large in contemporary politics, a powerful figure dominating news and popular culture: from newly elected president Donald Trump bestriding (or, depending on your political leanings, besmirching) the world stage, to Kevin Spacey as the Machiavellian Frank Underwood in House of Cards. For the modern observer, it is difficult to imagine an era in which the US ... (read more)