Society

Stuart Macintyre visits 'Fractured Times'

Stuart Macintyre
17 January 2014

As he approached his fiftieth birthday, Eric Hobsbawm finally won recognition. His Primitive Rebels (1959) was an innovative study of millenarian rural movements. In 1962 he published The Age of Revolution, the first of four books that encompassed the modern era with unrivalled powers of synthesis, and his volume on Labouring Men (1964) ga ... More

Dina Ross reviews 'My Mother, My Father'

Dina Ross
31 October 2013

In A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000), novelist Dave Eggers recounts the horror of losing both his parents within one year, leaving him and his sister as sole carers of their young brother. Eggers recalls the intense pain of being orphaned at the age of twenty-one, but also the frustration and acute resentment at having to grow up too fast.

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Virginia Lloyd reviews 'Profits of Doom'

Virginia Lloyd
31 October 2013

One of the literary legacies of the financial crisis is a type of travel writing focused on the local social, economic, and environmental effects of unfettered global capitalism. There are two types of such books. Michael Lewis is perhaps the best known and most widely read author of the first kind, in which the reporter becomes a kind of tour guide to the financial ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'The Prince'

Ray Cassin
30 October 2013

Church leaders have rarely become national public figures, let alone objects of political contention, in Australia. Since Federation, the number who could be so described can be counted on fewer than the fingers of one hand. There is Ernest Burgmann, the Anglican prelate who earned the sobriquet ‘the red bishop’ for his espousal of left-wing causes during ... More

My Mother, My Father

Dina Ross
09 October 2013

In A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000), novelist Dave Eggers recounts the horror of losing both his parents within one year, leaving him and his sister as sole carers of their young brother. Eggers recalls the intense pain of being orphaned at the age of twenty-one, but also the frustration and acute resentment at having to grow up too fast.

... More

Dion Kagan reviews 'Out of Shape'

Dion Kagan
28 August 2013

Much has been said about our tendency to feel bad about our bodies, but not quite in the way Mel Campbell goes about it. The fit of clothes is a more interesting, if more elusive, cultural story than the predictable outrage over fashion’s ever slimmer bodies or recent storms about ‘plus size’ models. Out of Shape addresses these controversi ... More

Ray Cassin reviews 'Unholy Trinity'

Ray Cassin
26 August 2013

Many people have heard of Gerald Ridsdale, defrocked Catholic priest of the diocese of Ballarat and a notorious convicted paedophile. But comparatively few people have heard of Ridsdale’s contemporary John Day. A priest in the same diocese, he too preyed upon many hundreds of children who came under his pastoral care. Ridsdale, who for a time served as Day’s cur ... More

Robert Reynolds reviews 'The End of the Homosexual?' by Dennis Altman

Robert Reynolds
22 August 2013
Four decades after his seminal book ‘Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation’, Dennis Altman has published a new study of the homosexual in Australian society. Robert Reynolds is our reviewer. More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Misogyny Factor'

Gillian Dooley
26 June 2013

Julia Gillard’s magnificent tirade against Tony Abbott in parliament last year has given Anne Summers her title for The Misogyny Factor, a polemic on the landscape of sexism and disadvantage in Australia based on two of her own recent speeches. Hillary Clinton’s distinction between progress (the signs of how far we have come) and success (enduring c ... More

Andrew Leigh reviews 'Hidden Innovation'

Andrew Leigh
25 June 2013

According to one study cited in Stuart Cunningham’s book, there are two opposing groups of people: ‘Political Junkies (PJs)’ and ‘Big Brother fans (BBs)’. PJs think that it beggars belief that anyone could think Big Brother was useful. BBs say that politicians are unapproachable and out of touch. As an MP who used to quite enjoy watching Bi ... More

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