Society

Reading Australia: 'The Female Eunuch' by Germaine Greer

Miriam Cosic
Wednesday, 24 June 2015

When Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch was published in 1970, it created a sensation. Within six months, it had almost sold out its second print run and had been translated into eight languages. Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, the influence of which critics see in Greer’s book, had come out in France in 1949. The Feminine Mystique, b ...

Carol Middleton reviews 'Dear Life' by Karen Hitchcock

Carol Middleton
Friday, 29 May 2015

In her long-form essay Dear Life, columnist and fiction writer Karen Hitchcock considers how we in Australia treat the elderly and dying. To the task she brings her formidable skills as a writer and her experience at the coalface, working as a staff physician in a Melbourne public hospital. The result is a sensitive, rigorous, and moving account that ex ...

David Donaldson reviews 'Revolution' by Russell Brand

David Donaldson
Monday, 02 March 2015

Russell Brand made headlines when he revealed in an animated interview with Jeremy Paxman that he had never voted. Fresh from guest-editing an issue of New Statesman, Brand had issued a call to overthrow the system responsible for the income disparities and environmental degradation in the world ...

Ben Brooker reviews 'The Impulse Society' by Paul Roberts

Ben Brooker
Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Paul Roberts’s The Impulse Society is the latest entry in a now familiar subtype of polemic: that of the society in decline, the symptoms of which run the gamut of Western post-industrialist ills from childhood obesity to the meltdown of global economic markets, and the syndrome of which is, at root, advanced capitalism. The lineage can be traced back throu ...

Carolyn D'Cruz reviews 'What is Veiling?' by Sahar Amer

Carolyn D'Cruz
Wednesday, 17 December 2014

As a child growing up Catholic in the late 1960s, I wore a black lacy veil over my hair to church every Sunday. After losing my religion sometime in my mid-teens, I had forgotten about this veil wearing until I found myself arguing with far too many people about the ‘burqa ban’. The general vitriol, together with the presumptions many people hold about Muslim wo ...

Jessica Au reviews 'The Wife Drought' by Annabel Crabb

Jessica Au
Monday, 15 December 2014

Why is it that women with supportive partners are still thought of as lucky, as if they have won a lottery? In the winter of 2012, Annabel Crabb ran into Tanya Plibersek, who had raised three children over the course of a successful parliamentary career with the help of her husband, a senior state bureaucrat. When Crabb commented on how fortunate they were to have h ...

Phillip Deery reviews 'The Spy Catchers' by David Horner

Phillip Deery
Friday, 21 November 2014

In the interests of national security, my luggage was recently searched at Los Angeles airport. The culprit: Spy Catchers. The uncorrected proof copy was so bulky that it triggered an alert. I declined to tell the Customs and Border Protection officer (in no mood for irony) that one chapter in the offending item was entitled ‘Keeping out Undesirables’. Da ...

David Donaldson reviews 'Last Bets'

David Donaldson
Thursday, 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 ...

Anthony Elliott reviews 'The Life of I'

Anthony Elliott
Monday, 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 ...

Felicity Plunkett reviews Helen Garner's new book

Felicity Plunkett
Monday, 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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