Society

Richard Broinowski on two titles exploring Sydney University

Richard Broinowski
26 November 2012

When I became an adjunct professor at the University of Sydney in 2004, I knew nothing of its history, and little of the ideological battles that had taken place there. These two books provide a rich narrative of both, and made me appreciate the privilege I have, even as a marginal player, in belonging to such a significant institution.

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Neal Blewett on Gough Whitlam's biography

Neal Blewett
28 October 2012

Jenny Hocking concluded the first volume of her Whitlam biography (2008) on the eve of her subject’s electoral victory in December 1972. Gough Whitlam had been the most effective and creative opposition leader in Australian history: since 1967 he had dragged a protesting Labor party into the second half of the twentieth century; provided the party with a contempor ... More

Jan McGuinness reviews two biographies of Gina Rinehart

Jan McGuinness
25 October 2012

Reading two books about Gina Rinehart back to back is far from edifying. So rich, so controlling, so opinionated, so entitled – and these are among her less objectionable qualities, as described in the two biographies published since she burst into the headlines amid reports of family litigation, media buy-ins, and escalating wealth. Indeed, whatever she did would ... More

Anne Chisolm on the humiliation of Rupert Murdoch

Anne Chisolm
10 July 2012

It all began with Prince William’s knee. Not, of course, the phone hacking and bribery and corruption which, as we all now know, was commonplace behaviour in the British tabloid newspapers at the heart of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire – that had been going on for far longer. But when, in November 2005, the News of the World carried a trivial story abo ... More

Rachel Robertson: Reaching One Thousand

Carmel Bird
22 February 2012

Dancing on his own

Carmel Bird

 

Reaching One Thousand: A Story of Love, Motherhood and Autism
by Rachel Robertson
Black Inc., $29.95 pb, 240 pp, 9781836955553

 

At some stage in every workshop on the art of memoir somebody raises the question of ethic ... More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Panic' by David Marr

Dennis Altman
23 January 2012

David Marr is not on the list of Australian living treasures, but perhaps he should be. Among our best journalists, he stands out as someone who has consistently challenged the powerful, a More

Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Emperor of all Maladies; Paul Cox: Tales From the Cancer Ward; Geoff Goodfellow, Grace Goodfellow, and Randy Larcombe: Waltzing with Jack Dancer; and Dudley Bradshaw: Cancer Four Times Removed

Felicity Plunkett
20 January 2012

Three personal studies of the experience of cancer

Felicity Plunkett

 

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Fourth Estate, $35 pb, 571 pp, 9780007367481

 

Tales from the Cancer Ward
by Pa ... More

Matt Granfield: HipsterMattic

Alex O'Brien
20 January 2012

Infinitely cooler

Alex O’Brien

 

HipsterMattic
by Matt Granfield
Allen & Unwin, $24.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781742377858

 

In the past, a twenty-something could exemplify le dernier cri without having to dispense with his bicycle gears, reflecto ... More

Frank Jackson reviews 'The Poor Relation' by Stuart Macintyre

Frank Jackson
23 December 2011

During the lead-up to the last United States presidential election, I found myself waiting for a train at the Princeton railway station with nothing to read. I picked up a copy of the student newspaper. Much of it was standard Bush bashing, intermingled with unrealistic expectations of what Obama might achieve. But one sentence in an editorial caught my eye: ‘It i ... More

George Levine: The Joy of Secularism

Tamas Pataki
24 November 2011

The limits of enchantment

Tamas Pataki

 

The Joy of Secularism: 11 Essays for How We Live Now
edited by George Levine
Princeton University Press (Footprint Books), $46.95 hb, 272 pp, 9780691149103

 

The war of religion currently being fought with fusil ... More

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