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Benjamin Huf

Benjamin Huf

Ben Huf is a Melbourne-based historian and was the 2022-23 EG Whitlam Fellow.  

Benjamin Huf reviews 'The New Economics: A manifesto' by Steve Keen

September 2022, no. 446 27 August 2022
In November 2011, amid the Occupy Movement that followed the 2008–9 recession, seventy-odd Harvard students walked out of their introductory economics course taught by Greg Mankiw, author of the world’s bestselling economics textbooks. The students protested that Mankiw’s faith-in-markets economics had little relevance for their crisis-riddled world. The walkout proved more than a campus stu ... (read more)

Benjamin Huf reviews 'Australia’s Great Depression: How a nation shattered by the Great War survived the worst economic crisis it has ever faced' by Joan Beaumont

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
In 2007, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Great Ocean Road, a bronze statue was unveiled at Eastern View, near Torquay. The statue, titled ‘The Diggers’, depicts two pick-wielding mates, one handing the other a drink. In name and form, the statue memorialises both the World War I Anzacs the road was built to honour and the repatriated soldiers who began constructing it in 1919. But the ... (read more)

Benjamin Huf reviews 'Doom: The politics of catastrophe' by Niall Ferguson and 'The Premonition: A pandemic story' by Michael Lewis

August 2021, no. 434 22 July 2021
One of the disconcerting aspects of this pandemic is that there was no shortage of warnings. For decades, virologists foresaw the coincidence of urbanisation, human proximity with animals, climate change, and globalisation as ideal conditions for spreading deadly pathogens. Science journalists wrote books with titles such as The Coming Plague (Laurie Garrett) and Spillover (David Quammen), whose c ... (read more)

Benjamin Huf reviews 'The Morals of the Market: Human rights and the rise of neoliberalism' by Jessica Whyte

August 2020, no. 423 24 July 2020
Obituaries for neoliberalism have been coming thick and fast in recent years. Resurgent populist governments appealing to white, middle-class values, with rich subsidies for privileged sectors but austerity for others, might sound the death knell for the self-regulating markets, small government, and economising rationality commonly associated with contemporary neoliberalism. ‘That key voices on ... (read more)

Ben Huf reviews 'Banking Bad' by Adele Ferguson, 'It’s Your Money' by Alan Kohler, 'The People vs The Banks' by Michael Roddan, and 'A Wunch of Bankers' by Daniel Ziffer

November 2019, no. 416 23 October 2019
Bank bashing is an old sport in Australia, older than Federation. In 1910, when Labor became the first party to form a majority government in the new Commonwealth Parliament, they took the Money Power – banks, insurers, financiers – as their arch nemesis. With memories of the 1890s crisis of banking collapses, great strikes, and class conflict still raw, the following year the Fisher governmen ... (read more)

Ben Huf reviews 'Republicanism and Responsible Government' by Benjamin T. Jones

November 2015, no. 376 28 October 2015
Studies in the early history of Australian democracy have undergone a remarkable regeneration over the past decade. Since New South Wales's sesquicentenary of responsible government in 2006, books by Peter Cochrane and Terry Irving, and essays by Paul Pickering, Andrew Messner, and Sean Scalmer, have overhauled prevailing interpretations of the 1840s and 1850s, which took colonial democracy to be ... (read more)