Society

Michael Winkler reviews 'Australian Gypsies: Their secret history' by Mandy Sayer

Michael Winkler
24 November 2017

In the Australia of my childhood, the Gypsy skirt was fashionable, ABC Radio played Django Reinhardt, ‘The Gypsy Rover’ was in school songbooks, peripatetic players were called ‘Gyps More

Dan Dixon reviews 'Moral Panic 101: Equality, acceptance and the Safe Schools scandal (Quarterly Essay 67)' by Benjamin Law

Dan Dixon
24 November 2017

It is rare, in 2017, to return to a long news story’s beginning, to untangle its threads and find how it came to occupy its looming position in the cultural imagination, to learn how the More

Kirk Graham reviews 'Everybody Lies: What the Internet can tell us about who we really are' by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Kirk Graham
25 October 2017

With the help of new data such as Google searches, economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz promises to reveal our innermost secrets. ‘Everything is data!’ he writes, ‘And with all this ne More

'The same-sex marriage debate' by Peter Rose

Peter Rose
16 August 2017

For decades, centuries, millennia, homosexuals (here as elsewhere) have been insulted, blackmailed, beaten, incarcerated, and murdered. Even now homosexuality remains one of the principal More

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going rogue with Australian deplorables' by John Safran

Johanna Leggatt
30 May 2017

David Marr’s Quarterly Essay, The White Queen: One Nation and the politics of race (2017) is a comprehensive and scholarly look at Pauline Hanson’s appeal, and what her revival, tepid as it may be in an international context, says about the way race has been exploited in the bread and circuses of politics. John Safran is equally interested in race, and ... More

Paul Morgan reviews 'Peak: Reinventing middle age' by Patricia Edgar and Don Edgar

Paul Morgan
28 March 2017

We are often told that baby boomers reshaped every stage of life they passed through. They are the most liberal-minded, creative, self-assured – and most of all, lucky – generation in history. Pop music, the sexual revolution, environmentalism, the internet – there is little, it seems, they have not been responsible for in the modern world. As they approach th ... More

Deborah Zion reviews 'Time to Die' by Rodney Syme

Deborah Zion
24 March 2017

Ethicist, physician, and writer Eric Cassell has remarked that it is troubling that patients and laypersons consider the relief of suffering to be one of the primary ends of medicine, yet the medical profession neglects it. It is even more disturbing given that we are on a daily basis confronted with images of war, pain, and displacement. Rodney Syme’s book about ... More

Mark McKenna reviews 'Illicit Love: Interracial sex and marriage in the United States and Australia' by Ann McGrath

Mark McKenna
23 March 2017

In the New England summer of 1825, the residents of Cornwall, Connecticut, built a funeral pyre in the middle of their village green. From a nearby window, nineteen-year-old Harriett Gold watched as the flames leapt into the sky, her heart consumed with ‘anguish’. Among those burning Harriett’s effigy was her brother, Stephen, who, like nearly all of the town ... More

John Funder reviews 'We’re all going to die' by Leah Kaminsky

John Funder
28 February 2017

Good general practice is the cornerstone of a good healthcare system: Australia is blessed with both. Leah Kaminsky has been a Melbourne general practitioner for three decades and by her own explicit admission wrote We’re All Going to Die as a way to address her own fear of death. Her beloved mother was ‘the only leaf left dangling from her charred fami ... More

Angelo Loukakis reviews 'A Single Tree: Voices from the bush' compiled by Don Watson

Angelo Loukakis
19 December 2016

In The Bush (2014), Don Watson explored notions of what that most variegated of terms, ‘the bush’, meant to earlier generations, including his own family. In ...

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