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 ...

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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Dion Kagan reviews 'Out of Shape'

Dion Kagan
Wednesday, 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 ...

Ray Cassin reviews 'Unholy Trinity'

Ray Cassin
Monday, 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 ...

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. ... (read more)

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Misogyny Factor'

Gillian Dooley
Wednesday, 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 ...

Andrew Leigh reviews 'Hidden Innovation'

Andrew Leigh
Tuesday, 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 ...

Ray Cassin on The Life of Pope Pius XII

Ray Cassin
Monday, 27 May 2013

Not the least portent of change in the Catholic Church since the Argentine Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis earlier this year has been mounting speculation that the new pontiff will disclose all documents in the Vatican archives concerning the most controversial of his twentieth-century predecessors, Eugenio Pacelli, who reigned as Pius XII from 19 ...

Gillian Terzis on 'Loving This Planet'

Gillian Terzis
Monday, 27 May 2013

In a world punctuated by civil and global conflict, it seems almost quaint to promote peace as a weapon of choice. Even in more progressive quarters, an explicit identification with pacifism seems to evoke nostalgia for a time when the enemy was obvious and the mission supposedly self-evident. But in recent decades the threat has become more nebulous, as has the rel ...