Society

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

Mark Blyth on the Dangers of Austerity

Adrian Walsh
25 March 2014

Should state spending on government be more restricted, or is it private financial institutions that should pay? Adrian Walsh writes about fresh controversies over international austerity programs.

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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

Dina Ross reviews 'My Mother, My Father' edited by Susan Wyndham

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 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

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