The poet James McAuley once told a group of Sydney university students – ‘forcefully’, as Geoffrey Lehmann recalls – that poets should have a career unconnected with literature. Lehmann had already imbibed a related injunction from his mother: ‘One day she told me I should become a lawyer and a writer ...... (read more)
I first encountered Stephen Jay Gould when I happened on one of his books in a bookshop during my late teens. Its unusual title, The Panda’s Thumb, caught my eye. The lead article channelled Charles Darwin’s approach to understanding the natural world, not through looking at perfect adaptations to the environment but ...... (read more)
In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style.
On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way ...
Over the past few years, no term has been more ubiquitous, among political scientists and political commentators alike, than ‘populism’. The 2016 Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, Donald Trump’s election later that year, and, more recently, the formation of a government mostly supported by two populist parties ...... (read more)
To complement our 2017 ‘Books of the Year’, we invited several senior publishers to nominate their favourite books – all published by other companies.... (read more)
‘Dear Dr Blewett, I am writing to you ... concerning your intention to publish the diary you kept during the first Keating Government ... Whether any legal action, criminal or civil, is initiated would be entirely a matter for the Commonwealth government and relevant authorities ...... (read more)
Who was Stephen Ward? And why does his fate matter today? The Profumo affair, with its mixture of sex, politics, aristocracy, and espionage, has become the archetypal scandal. In 1962, Jack Profumo was British Secretary of State for War (ministerial titles were more frank in those days) ...... (read more)
This book is long overdue. It is eighty years since affable Joseph Lyons, often depicted by cartoonists as a koala, was elected as Australia’s tenth prime minister. He would be re-elected twice before dying in office in April 1939. During his seven years as prime minister, Lyons had to grapple with the Depression ...... (read more)
In 1963, ASIO opened a file on a disreputable fellow named Laurie Oakes, who was then living with Alex Mitchell, another Daily Mirror reporter. The two men came to the spooks’ attention when Mitchell suggested hiding unionist Pat Mackie from the police ...... (read more)
Lacking a titled aristocracy and the leisured class that went with it, Australian colonial society encouraged an egalitarianism of manners. This, however, did not reflect the absence of social stratification: rather, as it has been argued, it was a means of being reconciled to it in a new setting ...... (read more)