Non Fiction

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews 'A Spy Named Orphan: The enigma of Donald Maclean' by Roland Philipps

Sheila Fitzpatrick
24 September 2018

Who doesn’t like to read about the Cambridge spies? Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and Kim Philby were all students at Cambridge in the early 1930s when they were converted More

Darius Sepehri reviews 'Axiomatic' by Maria Tumarkin

Darius Sepehri
03 September 2018

The third chapter of Axiomatic, ‘History Repeats Itself’, displays Maria Tumarkin’s gifts for threading the subjects of her interviews through personal questions and existen More

Peter Rose reviews 'A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis: A Literary Life' by Jacqueline Kent

Peter Rose
31 August 2018

In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style.

On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way ... More

Lucas Thompson reviews 'The Recovering: Intoxication and its aftermath' by Leslie Jamison

Lucas Thompson
31 August 2018

There is an eerie sameness to addiction memoirs, which tend to follow the same basic structure. In the beginning, there is some immense and unassuageable pain, followed by the discovery of More

Barney Zwartz reviews 'Newman College: A history 1918–2018' by Brenda Niall, Josephine Dunin, and Frances O’Neill

Barney Zwartz
30 August 2018

Drive along College Crescent, the circular avenue that forms Melbourne University’s northern order, and you will see the series of sedate, handsome university colleges that line the edge More

Simon Caterson reviews 'Missing in Action: Australia’s World War I grave services, an astonishing story of misconduct, fraud and hoaxing' by Marianne van Velzen

Simon Caterson
30 August 2018

Apart from its value as a case study in bureaucratic corruption and incompetence caused by lack of proper oversight, Missing in Action serves as an important reminder that the tra More

John Allison reviews 'Chopin’s Piano: A journey through Romanticism' by Paul Kildea

John Allison
24 August 2018

Some things are easier to lose than others, but how does a piano come to be mislaid? When that piano has been lugged up and down an island mountain, made one – perhaps two – sea crossi More

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'We’ll Show the World: Expo 88' by Jackie Ryan

Lyndon Megarrity
24 August 2018

Born in 1825, Brisbane is an elderly lady who has been to a surprising number of ‘coming of age’ balls. Numerous historians, officials, speechmakers, and journalists for several decade More

Dennis Altman reviews 'Has The Gay Movement Failed?' by Martin Duberman

Dennis Altman
24 August 2018

The basic thesis of this book is that the gay movement has settled for accommodation rather than radical change, ignoring the ways in which larger social and economic inequalities impact o More

Gerard Windsor reviews 'Absolute Power: How the pope became the most influential man in the world' by Paul Collins

Gerard Windsor
23 August 2018

For more than thirty years, Paul Collins has been His Holiness’s loyal opposition. Absolute Power is the latest round in his spirited debate with the Vatican, the government which has the largest constituen More

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