Society

Piketty-land

Mark Triffitt
Monday, 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. ... (read more)

The missing Somali on the dance floor

Ray Cassin
Tuesday, 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 ...

‘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 initiated would be entirely a matter for the Commonwealth government and relevant authorities ... 

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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 Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Indeed, it is practically impossible to find an account of the Snowden affair without at least one ‘Orwellian’ adjective ... ... (read more)

Mike Berry revisits 'The Affluent Society'

Peter Mares
Thursday, 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, ...

Mark Blyth on the Dangers of Austerity

Adrian Walsh
Tuesday, 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
Friday, 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 ...

Dina Ross reviews 'My Mother, My Father'

Dina Ross
Thursday, 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
Thursday, 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 ...

Ray Cassin reviews 'The Prince'

Ray Cassin
Wednesday, 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 ...