Society

David Donaldson reviews 'Last Bets'

David Donaldson
25 September 2014

Last Bets examines the case of Anthony Dunning, a forty-year-old man who died four days after being pinned to the floor face-down by bouncers at Melbourne’s Crown casino in July 2011. The incident was reported to police not by Crown but by Dunning’s friends two days later, while the man lay in intensive care. A spokesperson for the police said that Crown ... More

Anthony Elliott reviews 'The Life of I'

Anthony Elliott
25 August 2014

It is now approaching eighty-five years since Freud published his seminal book, Civilization and Its Discontents (1930). A foundational work of psychoanalytic cultural criticism, Freud’s focus was repression and its cultural consequences. He argued that sexual repression, and its associated guilt, had become the fundamental problem of modern societies. Freu ... More

Felicity Plunkett reviews Helen Garner's new book

Felicity Plunkett
25 August 2014

Felicity Plunkett reviews Helen Garner's new book about the Farquharson case and discusses the complex effect love has on human motivation.

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Joel Deane reviews 'Jacks and Jokers'

Joel Deane
22 July 2014

Matthew Condon is fast becoming the George R.R. Martin of Australian true crime. Like the Game of Thrones author, Condon is part-way through the delivery of a saga of epic proportions. However, whereas some fantasy fiction fans doubt that Martin will ever conclude his A Song of Ice and Fire series, everyone knows how the story of corruption in Joh Bjel ... More

Putin and the kleptocrats

Nicholas Hordern
22 July 2014

Nick Hordern – long-time journalist and political staffer – reviews two books on Russia’s controversial leader, Vladimir Putin.

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Piketty-land

Mark Triffitt
21 July 2014
Mark Triffitt reviews Thomas Piketty’s influential Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Our reviewer will take part in an ABR/University of Melbourne public forum on Piketty on 19 August. More

The missing Somali on the dance floor

Ray Cassin
27 May 2014

Sometimes the simplest of mistakes reveals far more of our preconceptions about human acts and motives, and about the complex relationships that make a human society, than we could have imagined. Such was the case with what journalist and lawyer Julie Szego dubs the ‘tainted trial’ of Farah Jama, a young Somali man who spent eighteen months in prison for a rape ... More

Neal Blewett reviews 'Diary of A Foreign Minister' by Bob Carr

Neal Blewett
26 May 2014

‘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 More

James Der Derian reviews 'The Snowden Files' by Luke Harding and 'No Place to Hide' by Glenn Greenwald

James Der Derian
26 May 2014
1984 is back. George Orwell’s nightmare vision of governmental surveillance, secrecy, and deception clearly resonates with the revelations first leaked to the Guardian by former National Security Agen More

Mike Berry revisits 'The Affluent Society'

Peter Mares
27 March 2014

Usually, significant books are revisited on significant anniversaries. By these lights, Mike Berry’s critical re-evaluation of John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society should have appeared in 2008, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its original publication. In this instance, we can be grateful that normal publishing practice has not been followed, ... More

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