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Letters to the Editor - March 2004

March 2004, no. 259 01 March 2004
The puzzle of PhDs Dear Editor, It’s pretty clear that historians can’t win, especially if they have the audacity to use a doctoral thesis as the basis for a book. As I read Aviva Tuffield’s puzzling review (ABR, December 2003/January 2004) of Clare Wright’s Beyond the Ladies Lounge, and Wright’s understandably puzzled response (ABR, February 2004), I was reminded of a debate that occu ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor - March 2010

March 2010, no. 319 01 March 2010
Latent violence Dear Editor, In reviewing my biography of Clifton Pugh, Brenda Niall, a distinguished biographer herself, arrives at this puzzling last sentence: ‘Whether or not Morrison intended it … the Clifton Pugh of these pages emerges more as opportunist than true believer’ (ABR, February 2010). She states earlier that it surprises her that a large number of women were attracted to P ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor - November 2001

November 2001, no. 236 01 November 2001
Bauman’s point of departure Dear Editor, Boris Frankel bursts in through open doors. He gives Zygmunt Bauman and me stick for speaking our truths (ABR, October 2001). Viewed in its own terms, what remains of the Left in Australia is in a bad way because it has failed (1) to clarify its ethics, norms and values and (2) to develop alternative visions and policies upon them; because (3) there is ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor – April 2001

April 2001, no. 229 01 April 2001
The Frank Hardy I Knew Dear Editor, Frank Hardy was a larrikin. It was probably one of his most endearing qualities, but he did tell me once that his membership of the Australian Communist Party enabled him to become something more than a larrikin. He didn’t always pay his debts, except for the one big debt and the only one worth remembering: the debt of living, to the end, a writer’s life. ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor - February-March 1998

February–March 1998, no. 198 01 February 1998
From Denis Altman Dear Editor, I suspect I’m the ‘(male) baby boomer academic who should have known better’ referred to by Delia Falconer in her piece in the Gangland symposium (ABR, November 1997). I have an unfortunately hazy memory of the event, but I certainly don’t assume a common age and education makes for ‘the same ideological viewpoint’: if it did I would have far more in co ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor - November 1997

November 1997, no. 196 01 November 1997
From Gerard Hayes Dear Editor, If Mark Davis had wanted to concoct a parody of babyboomer fogeyism, he could hardly have done better than Peter Craven’s review of Gangland. Opening with a quotation from Anthony Powell and doing his best to parrot the Powellian tone of bored hauteur, Craven details the shortcomings of Davis’s age: not young – in fact a ‘late bloomer’ – but still not ol ... (read more)

Letters May 2003

May 2003, no. 251 01 May 2003
The missing five years Dear Editor,   Kerryn Goldsworthy’s valuable piece on the early years of ABR (‘The Oily Ratbag and the Recycled Waratah’, ABR, April 2003), giving details of Australian Book Review under Max Harris and Rosemary Wighton from 1961 to 1973, does not mention what caused its disappearance from 1973 to 1978, when John McLaren and the National Book Council revived it. ... (read more)

Letters - December 1997 - January 1998

December 1997–January 1998, no. 197 01 December 1997
From Paolo Bartoloni Dear Editor, As the convenor of the conference ‘The Public, the Intellectuals and the Public Intellectual’ (La Trobe University, May 1996), and as co-editor of the collection of essays, Intellectuals and Publics: Essays on Cultural Theory and Practice, I have followed the discussion generated by the publication of Mark Davis’s book Gangland with great interest. Besides ... (read more)

Letters Extra - November 1994

November 1994, no. 166 01 November 1994
Dear Editor, It has always been my understanding that the National Book Council’s principal function is the promotion of Australian books. Therefore I cannot understand why the Council has allowed the publication of a review in its Australian Book Review journal which calls for the public destruction of a book. To quote from Meredith Sorensen’s review (ABR, October 1994, p.67): take one Big ... (read more)

Letters - November 1994

November 1994, no. 166 01 November 1994
Dear Editor, In a generous review of my recently published novel, A Grain of Truth (Penguin), Andrew Peek mentioned an article I wrote for ABR two years ago, in which I suggested that the hostility of critics and reviewers in this country to novels dealing with current social issues threatens to suppress political fiction in general and the contemporary novel of ideas in particular. ... (read more)